If I Grow Up by Todd StrasserWHEN YOU GREW UP IN THE PROJECTS, THERE WERE NO CHOICES. NO GOOD ONES, AT LEAST.
In the Frederick Douglass Project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis.
DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawns family can barely afford food for the month. How can he stick to his principles when his family is hungry?
In this gritty novel about growing up in the inner city, award-winning author Todd Strasser opens a window into the life of a teenager struggling with right and wrong under the ever-present shadow of gangs.
When I Grow Up - Matilda the Musical
If I Grow Up
Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. We see DeShawn grow and continue to be seduced by the local gang as his dislike grows for the rival gang in the projects. While early on DeShawn sees the terrible things drug use and gang activity does to his community, his lack of opportunities for education and making money ultimately drive him where nearly all others in similar circumstances go. Marcus is the local provider: he's the leader of the gang, and DeShawn's only true male role model. Strasser's narrative can be a bit heavy-handed, and it's clear from the start that he's writing a book to highlight the vast divide between the opportunities available to suburban high school-aged students and those in the ghettos and urban projects of America. Each chapter starts with quotes primarily from rap songs and a related fact about the difference of opportunities between rich and poor, white and black. The story is engaging and well-told, and it's so short that an avid reader can get through the novel within a couple hours.
To ask other readers questions about If I Grow Up, please sign up. .. Through the fictional characters of DeShawn, his best friend, Terrell, and the gang leaders .
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Created by: Jahlen,Kedar,Austin,and Durrand. Marcus was like the father of the the Fredrick Douglas Project. He was also the leader of the Douglas Disciples he made sure everything flowed right and had the respect of no other. He treated DeShawn especially different form others,more so like a younger brother he didn't have. He was a considered a hero to kids DeShawn and Terrell age. He was 20 when he was killed by Jamar. DeShawn lost his mom to crossfire from gang shooting.