Rite of Passage

by Richard Wright and David Diaz

The story of fifteen-year-old Johnny Gibbs was written in the 1940s but published... read more

The story of fifteen-year-old Johnny Gibbs was written in the 1940s but published for the first time in 1994. A good student with a loving family, Johnny comes home from school one day and his world is torn apart: he is told he is being sent away. Unknown to Johnny, his parents were really his foster parents, and welfare authorities have determined that Johnny must move to another family placement. Frightened and dazed, Johnny bolts into the streets of New York, entering a nighttime world of loneliness and fear wholly foreign to him. Over one night, Johnny careens on a whirlwind course of events that are survival-driven, forced to make split-second decisions that will forever change his life. Set in the 1940s, the themes of this tale of racism and urban violence are chillingly timely still. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1994

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