Friday, March 26, 2010

Homeboyz

Finally, I got to read Homeboyz.

First, let me say that this review won't be impartial, as I am a huge fan of Alan Lawrence Sitomer, the author. He was the 2007 California Teacher of the Year, still teaches in downtown LA, is a popular author, and a prolific contributor on the English Companion Ning. I often wonder how many hours he gets in a day, as I only get twenty four!

I have been waiting for over a month for my chance to read Homeboyz. The 9th graders have been passing it back and forth, never allowing me to get my hands on it. A few pages in, I wondered if that was intentional. There is some serious cursing in this novel! I grabbed a silver sharpie and wrote "Grade Nine Only" on the front before I continued reading.

This is the final installment in the trilogy that includes The Hoopster and Hip Hop High School. It details Teddy Anderson's quest for revenge after gang violence claims his younger sister. As a protagonist, Teddy is unlikeable; he is a disrespectful thug with a superiority complex. Sitomer endows him with the some pretty spectacular abilities: insomnia that only requires two hours of sleep each night, superior intellect, a superfit body, and genius computer skills. Sitomer knows LA teens better than I do, but that seems like a pretty unlikely combination.

Regardless of these quibbles, I really enjoyed Homeboyz. The story is engrossing and the plot twists surprised me. It is obvious why my students enjoyed it so much and are desperately waiting for Sitomer's next novel to hit our shelves. I recommend picking up this book and reading it before adding it your class' shelf.

4 comments:

  1. One of my students has this book. She got it the summer after 6th grade year. I have never had a chance to read it though.

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  2. 6th grade! I definitely didn't know any of these things in the 6th grade, ha ha!

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  3. This is my FAVORITE blog ever...LOL!

    Thanks a ton for the nice words.

    --Alan

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  4. Miss K, I definitely didn't either:) For a long time I had a hard time including some of the YA books that I read and had at home because of various themes that seemed to mature. Yet, there was a disconnect between what I would include in my classroom library and the books that students would buy on their own with their parents. I constantly think about what I should include in my library. This year I included a little bit more than I previously had, but I have them in a separate location for 7th graders only. Next year I will only allow it for the same students as they move up to the 8th grade.

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What say you?