A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The author gives readers a lot to think about: Are we all really born with the same chances in life? Is the difference between right and wrong always obvious? What personal strengths or characteristics are necessary to persevere in tough situations?
Explores how loves blossoms in a variety of ways, even in the most difficult situations.
Positive Role Models
The characters struggle to show love and caring despite often desperate situations
Violence & Scariness
Mentions of child abuse, fighting, gang initiation, a knife fight, and a stabbing in the eye; several people have or seek guns; a beating with a pool cue; IEDs and snipers in Afghanistan; a young man is killed in battle.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to making love, homosexuality, a naked girl tries (unsuccessfully) to seduce a boy, teen pregnancy, a teen has sex with an adult (not described).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One use of "p---y" to mean a weakling. Muslims are referred to as "rag heads," which is compared to the N word.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
One mention of Armani.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to drugs and drug abuse including crack and marijuana; teens are stoned and addicted. Some cigarette smoking. But this behavior is not glamorized; it's used to show how difficult the world these characters inhabit is.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that these are stories about life in the inner city and in Afghanistan. There is plenty of violence, sex, and drugs, though nothing is described, just referred to -- and the intense material is really used to illustrate the tough neighborhood the protagonists inhabit. Indeed the characters in this book struggle to show love and caring despite often desperate situations. The author gives readers a lot to think about: Are we all really born with the same chances in life? Is the difference between right and wrong always obvious? What personal strengths or characteristics are necessary to persevere in tough situations?
Is It Any Good?
Even though these are short stories, there's an emotional depth to them that is, at times, breathtaking. Veteran author Walter Dean Myers is interested in the many variations of love -- parents and children, friends and relations, siblings. Only in some of these stories does "love" mean romantic love. Even installments about men and women (or boys and girls) are more about the caring than the romance, and the many ways that caring shows itself.
Unlike authors who awkwardly try to reproduce street dialect in a vain attempt to seem authentic, Myers can make his characters real and vivid without swearing, and include the realities of sex, drugs, and violence without wallowing in them or resorting to graphic descriptions. He has been writing, and winning awards, for a long time now, and this book shows both the heart of a dyed-in-the-wool humanist, and the confidence that comes only with experience.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.