Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx.
The title pretty
much says it all.
Welcome to the world of Jessica and
inner-city teenagers from the Bronx. We become absorbed in the lives of these complex
people as they spiral toward their destinies in a dizzying portrayal of a world of drugs,
gangs, prison, welfare, pregnancy and
an oftentimes-bizarre perception of
Written in plain language (no psychobabble), LeBlanc gives an
excellent reportage into street mentality as it applies to these particular
LeBlanc spent ten years getting to know her subjects through
observations, personal interviews and other factual accountings. All of
characters are real. Nothing is made up, supposed or guessed. At
points we may come to understand (although we may not agree with) why they
live like they do, why they behave like they do and how the cycle can and does perpetuate
itself in their children.
Did the system fail them or did they
the system? Was there no choice or did they make poor choices?
gripping, moving account, this book is sure to evoke a myriad of feelings
emotions: empathy, sympathy, anger, frustration, happiness and sadness. This book is
harsh, at times raw. LeBlanc draws no conclusions of her own and she makes no
judgments-we are left to do that on our own.
Make no mistake: this is a
serious read. If you're looking for light
reading, you won't find it here. And
when you get through with it, give it to your kid.