Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, by Greg Neri and Randy DuBurke

Based on the true story of an 11-year-old Chicago kid who accidentally killed a young girl in the 1994.  He was trying to impress the older members of his gang.

Pros:  Does a really good job of reminding you that Yummy was only 11 (he got beaten up all the time in juvie because he had a teddy bear) without completely letting him off the hook.  Neri did a lot of research, and it shows.

Cons: The fact that the (fictional) narrator is a boy Yummy's age who is outside the gang life might make this a little less appealing for some older teens.

Recommended for: This is definitely intended for teens--middle school students, really. It's tragic, but not graphic. I would try it on kids who ask for hard knock stories, urban lit, etc. Not a bad read for grown-ups either.

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