Customer Reviews for

If I Grow Up

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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5 Star

(14)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    When you live in the projects and are faced daily with gang violence, drive-by shootings, teen pregnancy, and poverty, the chance of growing up and living a decent life as an adult dwindle with each passing year. Todd Strasser takes readers into the life of one teen living in just such a world.

    DeShawn lives with his grandmother and his sister. His grandmother cleans for a living, but even though she's not old by the suburbs' standards, she is old and tired here in the inner city. DeShawn goes to school and wants to stay on the straight and narrow, but everyone he knows is involved in gangs or drugs, so the pressure is on.

    IF I GROW UP starts when DeShawn is twelve years old. As each year passes he finds it more and more difficult to keep focused on the things he needs to do to find success in the world most of us know. The pull of the gang lifestyle, with its promise of money and power, are tempting. Being part of the Disciples would guarantee there would be food on the table, diapers for his sister's twin babies, and money for the rent every month.

    When it becomes evident who was responsible for the death of a young child, DeShawn struggles with a feeling of needing to even the score. That's part of the curse of gang life. Once there is one killing, everyone wants to seek revenge, which creates an out of control spiraling effect with one drive-by shooting after another.

    Is DeShawn the one to beat the odds and stay in control of his life by staying in school, getting a decent job, and making his family proud, or will he end up like the rest of the young boys and men of the projects?

    Todd Strasser examines the tragedy of life in the inner city. The statistics reveal odds stacked against the youth of our cities. Strasser is able to paint a realistic picture of this tragic world, but at the same time he keeps this novel free of the extreme use of foul language, explicit sex, and graphic drug use most novels of this type usually employ.

    This makes IF I GROW UP a story that can be shared and discussed in any classroom setting. I plan to use it as a read-aloud with my students to help them appreciate how lucky they are to be growing up in a rural, small town atmosphere.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Sooooo good

    It kinda doesn't get good right befor tnhe middle, but there is always something good going on. Recomend for drama readers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Really good book to learn about the world

    I am a 12 year old living in a city littered with gang grafiti. This book has showed me many lessons every child should know.
    1.) Education is the only option you take in a situation like this
    2.) Joining a gang takes you to the hospital, prison, or most likely, your grave.
    3.) There are places without freedome or options that you have. There are places void of innocence. Indifference is ignoring this and letting people hurt themselves as well as eachother. This is wrong, although im 12 and shouldn't be preaching philosophy.

    Something should be done to enforce normal education as well as education of life.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Wholy shit

    Read it. Oh my god just read it. It is a simple command. Read it read it read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unbelievable!

    This book is by far the deepest book I've ever read! The realism and consistency with both the characters and the setting is fantastic! The characters are relatable and unreal at the same time. It's so much like what happens in real life that your shocked they allowed some of it into the teen section of literature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    One of my favorite books

    Todd is teaching a important life lesson and even used a real gang. Can't teach a life lesson without honesty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Richie October 18,2013

    I loved this book and the auther. I can not wait till i read give a boy a gun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Wow...

    The first time i read this, i loved it...i still do

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Da bomb

    Unexpected ending thumbs up excellent book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    I love it

    I think this is the best book EVER!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    The book was Great!

    I love the book.It was great and interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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