professornana (professornana) wrote,

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I know that author Coe Booth is an LJ person as I read her postings often. I read her novel, TYRELL, last night in one sitting. Tyrell's life has been a tough one. His father is in jail (again) and he and his younger brother and his mother are homeless. The family is forced to take a motel room because the city does not have enough emergency housing for all the homeless. The fleabag hotel is roach infested and filthy in many other ways. Tyrell is determined to find a way to get his family into an apartment. He wants to earn money in a legitimate venture, turning away from friends who offer him easy money for involvement in illegal activities. Tyrell is a young man torn in two (or maybe even more). He wants desperately to do the right thing, but it seems at every turn that he is given wrong advice or ignored by others who could provide him some assistance. And yet he perseveres, bucking against the systems that would have him be something he is not.

Tyrell is a complex character. Even the minor characters in this story are complex; it is not easy to pin them down and pigeonhole them. There is no magic fix for any of the problems that Tyrell and his friends encounter. Life is not neat, not predictable, and not always happy. Tyrell rings true. I suspect this will be a book that will reach out to kids who will identify with Tyrell not because of his race or where he lives, but because of who he is and who he is becoming.


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