From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR BLUFORD HIGH
“The Bluford novels have been wildly popular with young readers across the country and continue to entice reluctant readers. . . . The books are well written, treat the problems of inner-city youth with respect, and avoid easy answers to the challenges that kids face today.” James Blasingame, Associate Professor of English Education at Arizona State University, coeditor of The ALAN Review
Here's what teens are saying about Bluford High
“As soon as I finished one book, I couldn't wait to start the next one. No books have ever made me do that before.” Terrance W.
“Once I started reading them, I just couldn't stop, not even to go to sleep.” Brian M.
“When I finished these books, I went back to the beginning and read them all over again. That's how much I loved them.” Caren B.
Children's Literature - Jeannine Stickle
High school sophomore Ben and his mother, Geneva, have lived through bad situations before; but all that has been different for the past few years, living with Ben's stable aunt Fay. All that changes when Geneva suddenly marries Larry and the three of them move into a house in a different part of the city. At the same time, Aunt Fay moves away to be with Ben's ailing grandfather, leaving Ben feeling alone. Soon, Larry begins physically and emotionally abusing Ben and Geneva. Ben is able to find a little refuge in his new school, the "Bluford High" that links the books in this series by the same name, meeting some kind teachers and administrators and making a few friends. He also takes a job at a nearby grocery store and befriends Graham, the kind older man who owns and runs the store. Unable to tell his aunt, teachers, boss, or friends about the abuse, it is while working at the store one day that he finds the key to their freedom from Larry. One day, Ben witnesses a masked man rob the store and hurt Graham. Ben later identifies the robber as Larry's friend Donald, and discovers that Larry was an accomplice. At the same time, Aunt Fay returns because of the rumors of abuse she heard about from Ben's principal, and she helps Ben go to the police and Geneva and Ben escape Larry. Ben is a likeable and relatable character, and it is easy for the reader to put themselves in his place, feeling the danger of his situation. This book is recommended for readers who prefer realistic fiction, and will be most relatable to teenagers who live in urban areas. It is recommended for purchase in school and public libraries. Reviewer: Jeannine Stickle