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When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds (39)

In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut that Publishers Weekly calls “a funny and rewarding read” captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should've been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.



  • Kindle: 2641 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 7, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00DA9II7K

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Jason Reynolds is a graduate of The University of Maryland, College Park. He has been reviewed and profiled in The Washington Post, NPR books, Kirkus, Hornbook, School Library Journal, WNYC, Publisher's Weekly, Poets & Writers, Gawker, mentioned as a standout in the Wall Street Journal, AM New York, Ebony Magazine, was awarded as a top book of the year by the New York Public Library system, and was the recipient of 2015 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent. 
He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing For Young People MFA Program, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.





REVIEW:
A well-rounded read.
Great crafted characters. I felt like I knew these boys, Ali, Needles & Noodles. Like these boys were hanging on my block and I passed by them every day. 
I liked the plot too. One you could relate to, if you come from lower income lifestyles, which I come from humble upbringing and could totally relate.
I liked the ending though. And for those who read my reviews often, know that the ending can be hit or miss with me. This author closed it all up nicely.
So the book had a beginning, a middle and an end, that all summed up nicely.
I think many of you reading this review would like this book, so get on it!  :-)

4/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned from purchases made from the links within. This copy was read free at Riveted. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

Comments

  1. Reynolds is a new to me author, but he sure has the background to produce such a good sounding book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting cover and bio. Congrats, Jason.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your review. I wasn't too sure about this one. It sounded good and the cover intrigued me. I think I'll give it a try.

    ReplyDelete

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