Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald

Just as the nominations for the 2008 Rhode Island Teen Book Awards were closing, I picked up Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald to add to the list. Her previous books have all been well-liked by most teens. Previously I've read Brother Hood which I liked and this one didn't disappoint.

The story of Eric Samson, a would-be rapper who just spent time in juvenile detention and doesn't plan to return has to figure out what to do with his life. His parents are long gone and he is living off the kindness of his friend's family. Clearly Hustle, as he likes to be called, is trying to do the right thing but it's so tempting to go back to stealing.

That is, until he starts to get serious about his writing. He begins working on his rhymes wherever he goes and finally things start to fall into place for him.