Tyrell

by Coe Booth

Homeless teen Tyrell uses his limited options to keep his family together after they... read more

Homeless teen Tyrell uses his limited options to keep his family together after they are evicted from their apartment in the Bronx. The African American teen’s father is in prison, while his mother makes questionable choices, such as keeping Ty’s younger brother, Troy, in special education in order to receive more government money. Ty’s girlfriend, Novisha, goes to a private Catholic school, and seems to have the kind of life to which Ty can only aspire. Their relationship gives Ty hope, but when he meets a Puerto Rican girl in a temporary shelter who is also trying to hold things together, he feels himself drawn to her. Balancing his love interests is secondary, however, to earning enough money to get his family back in a proper home. Ty admirably rejects the quick fix of the drug culture as a source of income. Instead, he turns to his DJ skills, borrowing his dad’s equipment and breaking into an empty building to throw a party. In this first novel, Coe Booth creates a detailed setting and characters that are wholly believable, their raw, authentic language and dialogue coming straight from the streets. The Bronx itself is a distinct character—as tough and relentless and determined as Ty. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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