This book paints quite a picture for us who have been privileged to live in a different form of society than Tariq Johnson. I think that this book is important for everyone to read no matter age, sex, race or religion. It's important to think about community and change. The reasons behind actions and to see things different than wrong and right. But rather as everyone having their own reason for what they are doing. This story paints the picture of what happens in a community after a sixteen-year-old male is shot without stories that match up. I first suspected this book to be a lot more about racial issues. Which it is. But it's so much more. It's about how it affects the man at the corner to store to the leader of a gang to the mother of the victim. It changes perspectives so perfectly that it truly was heartbreaking to read through.
Tina: For someone who thinks in such a unique way, she handles the death different than I suspected. I think that she understood so many things that other's didn't, but her battle between what is good and bad really drew me in. Her thoughts on what was happening around her might have been the most heartbreaking, but also reminders of what we loose when someone dies to violence. That being a feeling of innocence.
Tyrell: His character was so different from any other I'd read. His pact to stay out of a gang and go to college was incredible. Watching him struggle with what to do for his future was crazy and I understand a lot more about the pressures now. I hope that he is able to keep strong.
Brick: On the total opposite end I think about Brick and how his world was changed, but he kept a front to lead the mean he charges himself with. I don't believe that gangs will help society but I can see what he offers. Protection, relationships, someone to be there for you no matter what. But at what cost?
Noodle: He isn't a character I cheer for but I saw that in his messed up way he loved Jennica, he just didn't know how to show it or give her the hope she needed.
Kimberly: To be there for someone's death even after they were less than kind to a person, show's true characters. I thought it was interesting to see her bring up the fact that after people die they are treated as though they are angels, but I think it's important to look at the big picture. It's not just about Tariq, no matter if he did or didn't have a gun, or if he was a "good" or "bad" guy.
Jennica: To dream for more is all we can really hope to do after a situation like this rocks our foundation, and makes us open our eyes.
Will: The strong feeling of, "It could have been me" or "I'm from there" really shows how others surrounding a death might feel no matter the reason, but especially with such a tragic ending.
Reverend Alabaster : Only in it for the vote? Or to help? I suppose it's up to you to decide.
Moments to Remember:
Final Line: "'You just be you.'"
Thanks for reading,