Urban Fiction

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest is Jason Reynolds' first novel, but his voice is already fully-formed. He guides us through the life of Ali, a teenager living in Brooklyn, the non-Cosby part. Ali's mom complains about white gentrification raising the price of rent, but Ali does not fully follow.

I don't really get that. I mean, if I'm in a restaurant, and I order some food, and a white person walks in, all of a sudden I have to pay more for my meal? Makes no sense, but that's what she says.

Walter Dean Myers

In his autobiographical novel for young people, Bad Boy, Walter Dean Myers wrote of a world--1940s Harlem--that was markedly different from that of today. Most families were tightly-knit as was the community itself. Even so, it wasn’t a perfect place.  As he grew up his family struggled to get by, and, as he became a teenager, he became more aware of racism and how it could affect his future.

But during his early years, he didn’t think too much about race. He had friends who were white and black, and the woman he thought of as his mother was of German and Native American ancestry. The man who raised him, though not his biological father, was African American.  Herbert and Florence Dean took Walter and his half-sisters in to be fostered when they needed a loving and caring home.

Messed Up

Janet Nichols Lynch

A fifteen-year-old Mexican American has experienced a series of tough breaks before finding himself completely on his own. He decides to try to keep his lack of a home a secret from his school while working hard and staying out of trouble.

9780823421855
High School
Middle School

Lockdown

Walter Dean Myers

Myers takes readers inside the walls of a juvenile corrections facility in this gritty novel. Fourteen-year-old Reese is in the second year of his sentence for stealing prescription pads and selling them to a neighborhood dealer. He fears that his life is headed in a direction that will inevitably lead him “upstate,” to the kind of prison you don’t leave. His determination to claw his way out of the downward spiral is tested when he stands up to defend a weaker boy, and the resulting recriminations only seem to reinforce the impossibility of escaping a hopeless future.

9780061214806
High School
Middle School

Thugs and the Women Who Love Them

By Wahida Clark

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Clark takes the reader through the stories of three ambitious, educated women who aspire to escape the ghetto and follow their hopes and dreams. None of the friends can resist their attraction to their thug boyfriends, which threatens to hold them back from their dreams.

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Riding Dirty on I-95

By Nikki Turner

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Turner delivers another juicy treat with this high-speed story of a feisty young woman's search for passion, love, and understanding while she hustles for survival.
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Me & My Boyfriend

By Keisha Ervin

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Follow Meesa and her boyfriend, Black, up and down the gritty streets of St. Louis while they face lies, drugs and murder.
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Let That Be the Reason

By Vickie M. Stringer

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"This fact-based novel introduces you to 'Carmen.' A female hustler ... that gets caught up in the street game. She takes you through it all, with one thing on her mind: MONEY. She accomplishes her goals by any means necessary. It is a story of love, betrayal, triumph and hope. Carmen only wanted happiness, but didn't quite understand what real happiness and real love meant...Nor the cost. And ultimately the consequences. A story of past pain, choices, priorities and life altering decisions."
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Every Thug Needs a Lady

By Wahida Clark

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Sexy, beautiful Roz has escaped from the hard streets and is on her way to a professional career in physical therapy. But then she meets Trae, who's still after the bling-bling and fast money of drugs. He's hard, hot, irresistible--and trouble.

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Drive Me Crazy

By Eric Jerome Dickey

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"Driver" is an ex-con trying to make his life right but who shares an expensive secret and a past affair with his boss's wife - a woman who is nothing but trouble. Dickey's rich characters jump off the page, drawing readers into the hustle-filled pool hall, the bedroom, and the Lincoln Town Car as Driver chauffeurs his wealthy and notorious clients around. A fast-paced novel of raw emotion softened with humor, this is Dickey at his best.
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