A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids of all races can identify with this funny and sensitive story of friendship. The characters ring true as they play, confront difficulties, discuss life, and try to grow up. There are some slightly mature situations as the kids deal with the allure of drugs and sex, and the death of a parent.
What's the story?
Stuff moves to 116th Street in Harlem and meets the boys and girls who will be his friends. They stir up plenty of humor just hanging with each other, but when tragedy strikes, the group decides to form a club called the Good People to help each other. Mostly funny, sometimes serious, this is a wonderful portrait of friendship.
Is it any good?
Plenty of humor and realistic dialogue make the characters in this story come alive. Walter Dean Myers has written numerous books about the gritty life in Harlem. In this book he concentrates on kids who deliberately do good for one another, stay away from drugs and sex, and have fun together. Meanwhile, they help each other cope with serious difficulties.
The episodic story progresses until readers have a bright portrait of these kids who grow up in a tough neighborhood, but who remain kids. They have the support of their families and each other, and learn the difference between being people and playing roles.