Parents' Guide to

If I Grow Up

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Very violent, stereotyped look at life in the 'hood.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

The best

I am Also in middle school I saw this book and it cought my eye it was very interesting book and it's educational for us to learn that we really do have the choice do I want to be a dead gang member some day no we all have our choices you want choose that life go ahead this book is very good their is some violence in this book yes I know about the shooting and robbery and sexuality and drugs this boy lives in the projects again remember in the projects happen a lot of things you take your risks of life going out their to live or die

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (5):

This is a painfully one-dimensional novel that could be used as a script for any after-school special, crime drama, or urban movie. When a book is set in an urban setting where poverty, poor choices, and lack of opportunity are prevalent, critics tend to call the book "gritty." However, many of these books only feed off of press snippets and writer imagination of what the 'hood' is really like, and so the stories lean closer to stereotypes of urban life. This novel, unfortunately, is no exception.

Stock characters -- the hard working grandma, the knocked-up older sister, the good kid struggling to stay out of trouble while enduring peer pressure and oppressive poverty -- are all in place here, as well as stock ghetto situations like eating cereal with water, multiple sex partners, pregnancies, lack of male responsibility, and blinged-out dope dealers that are anti-heroes to the residents. Add in a couple of drive-bys, double crosses, and a smidge of regret, and it really misses the mark.

Book Details

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