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4.6 24
by Lynne Ewing

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"Jimmy always told me there were only two kinds of gangbangers: Those who were dead and those who were going to die. Joining a gang doesn't make sense to Jimmy..."

Jimmy is dead now—gunned down in front of his little sister, Mina, and his brother, Tito. And Tito is left wondering: Was Jimmy in a gang after all? Ice Breaker Joe and Lamar think so. They


"Jimmy always told me there were only two kinds of gangbangers: Those who were dead and those who were going to die. Joining a gang doesn't make sense to Jimmy..."

Jimmy is dead now—gunned down in front of his little sister, Mina, and his brother, Tito. And Tito is left wondering: Was Jimmy in a gang after all? Ice Breaker Joe and Lamar think so. They say Jimmy was skimming their drug money. And if the missing cash isn't returned, Tito may have to pay—with his life.

Some people go to the crossroads, but Tito's crossroads laid themselves down in front of him. His brother Jimmy sprawls on the sidewalk at his feet. Shot in a drive by. Now a gang claims that Jimmy was their Ace Man. They say Tito must take his place and resolve some unfinished business. They give him a gun. "You need protection. It's not safe on the street." What path will be choose at the crossroads? He knows one leads to safety and one to death . . . but which is which?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When his older brother is killed in a drive-by shooting, a boy realizes his role model was a gang member. "Ewing's fast-paced first novel offers distinctly drawn, affecting characters and lots of action," said PW. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This eighty-five-page novella begins with the death of Tito's brother Jimmy. The police think it might be a revenge shooting, but sixth grader Tito is sure his brother wasn't in a gang because "Jimmy always told me there were only two kinds of gangbangers: those who were dead and those who were going to die." After Jimmy's death, Tito spends much time convincing himself about his brother's goodness and the stability of his world, though all events contradict his efforts. The adults in the novel seem to react the same way. Tito's mother tells her children that everything's okay, but makes a bed for Mina, Tito's sister, in the bathtub and tells him to sleep on the floor. The book's strength is not in its writing style, nor in plot innovation. It does have a brevity and simplicity that provide access for less proficient readers and so it may reach the kind of child who's pictured in the novel. Readers will have to wonder about the ending which seems like a happily ever after. Can safety and happiness exist in the hopeless world that Ewing describes, or is this just a temporary happily ever after? 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Jimmy was always joking around. That's what Tito thought he was doing that night in front of the library. But when the gang car sped away and Jimmy lays motionless on the ground, Tito realizes that his brother is dead. He later learns that Jimmy had been skimming money from his "deliveries" and hiding it from his gang and now that he is gone, the gang members begin a destructive search of Tito's house for the stolen cash. After being bullied, badgered, and threatened with death, Tito knows what he has to do. This novel explores the aftermath of a gang-related shooting in a first-person narrative style. While realistic actions and language propel readers through it, character development is minimal; thus, there is no sense of emotional involvement toward Tito and his family. The story encourages readers to do the right thing, but the overall effect is one of helplessness and lack of control. S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders (Viking, 1967) and Walter Dean Myers's Scorpions (HarperCollins, 1988) are far better explorations of gang life.Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Ewing's first novel is grim, taut, and ultimately hopeful, with a satisfying ending that makes its point without belaboring it. In the early pages, Tito's older brother, Jimmy, is killed in a gang-related drive-by shooting. This is only the beginning of Tito's family's troubles, for while they cope with their grief, the gang attacks their house repeatedly, forcing the family to move. Following revelations about Jimmy's secret life, Tito's innocence is gradually stripped away; he confronts hard truths about gang life and takes action to protect his family and do what is right.

Written in stripped-down prose that mirrors (sometimes gratingly) Tito's bleak world, the brief tale combines the plot twists of a mystery with a topical setting and theme that will appeal to reluctant readers.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Lynne Ewing began writing as a way to unwind from her job with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. She is the author of Drive-By, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Party Girl, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, an Amazon Editor's Choice, and a Teen People recommended read; and the bestselling Daughters of the Moon series, which was also an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She lives in Washington, DC.

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4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review By: Jenna Kennedy Tito's older brother, Jimmy is killed in a gang shooting one night while they are walking home one night right in front of their little sister Mina. Tito is wondering why he was killed. Two gang members in his town named Ice Breaker Joe and Lamar tell Tito that Jimmy stole the drug money that they had. Jimmy finds out that his friend was in a gang all along. The gang members say that Jimmy was their Ace Man and that Tito has to take over for him. Will he take the offer? I would recommend this book to people who like action books and like books who keep you guessing what happens next.The only thing I would change about this book is I would make it a little bit longer. But besides that, it's a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book, i read it for a class and i finished in a couple days. I woud subjest this book for a older reading audience.
hbgv More than 1 year ago
Amazing My name is Chris, and i absolutely LOVE this book! ****SPOILERS**** Its about a boy named Jimmy, who was shot and killed, a boy named Tito try's to find out who killed him. Later, Tito finds a suitcase FULL of money! This book takes place in Tito's house, and the street, where they find jimmy was sadly killed. The conflict is that they try to find out who killed Jimmy, and they solution is that they find out who did, but how?! I love this book for the HUGE problem it has, and the sweet revenge!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
We had to read this book for our language arts class. I thought I would die of boredom. First of all, we are in 8th grade, and this book is obviously intended for younger children. Secondly, it was not realistic. I couldn't really see any of this really happening, maybe some of it, but not all of it. Drive By had the same story line as countless other books that are out there. The author did not use any descriptive works, all I could she was 'She said, he said, she said, he said, he said, said, said, said' I mean come on! Throw in 'exclaimed' or 'gasped' or something just a tiny bit more interesting in here! It was so easy, and fast moving, I wish the author would have paid a little more attention to detail. Explain the scene, plant a picture in my head, make me sit on the edge of seat. I doubt this has to do with the author directly, put the voice on the tape was extremely blah, and read really slow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a real 'gang kid' from Long Beach California. I got my first gun when I was 8. I have been drive-byed 5 times and my best friend got killed when he was 13. My English teacher gave me this book to do a review on. I gave this book 5 stars because I think it has a good message for some kids who might think about joining a gang. But I got to say that I was disappointed with this book because it is not very on the real. You can tell a person who never lived this kind of life wrote it, or had kids who did, even though she might have known some kids who lived like this. But that does not make it a bad book. I think that if you liked this book and want to know more about gangs on tha real, you should checkout some books like the Last Street Fighter or Always Runing. There is some stuff about gangs in the book 'Ghost Train' too. Like I said I think this book was a good try, it has a good message but it¿s not very on the real if you live where I do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow i cant believe i actually read i usually dont read books only book about something interestin, and this book made me read more and more n i finised it in 3 days. i was so into it. i NEVER finished a book so fast. THIS NEVER HAPENED I AM SURPRISING MY SELF
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is my favorite book in this universe i hope u like it 2. it teaches u about the family meanings and things u cant pass up in life and about friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did someone ever killed your brother and was thrating your family. Well that what's heapend to Tito. His brother Jimmy was a gang, but Tito didn;t to belive in it, but Joe and Lamer seen to think so. They say that Jimmy was selling drugs and skimming their drug money. Now they whant Tito to join their gang, but he doesn't. So Tito may pay with his life for that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you every read a newspaper and it said, teenagers gets shot? Or have you seen it on TV? This story is about two brothers and one sister, how they were having fun, and then one of the brother gets shot by Gang Bangers. This story is a drama and mystery, it takes place near a library in California. When the older brother jimmy got killed by gang bangers it was up to his younger brother Tito to take care of the rest unfinished besiness. This story i would say is really for guys, and teenagers, I don't think girls would be intrested in this story, unless they like stories about gangs. I do reccomend this book, it is a interesting story. When you start reading the book, you will never want to stop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did'nt like to read but when i read this book i love it and now i love 2 read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i liked this book i hate reading but i loved this book it made me want to keep reading i would read this book agian
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book. I read this book when I was in 5th grade! and I'm now in 11th and I don't know what It was but all of a sudden one day I just thought of It and decided to look It up on the web and I found this! I truly recommend this book I think It's the best(especially after I remembered It after 6 years!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a good book for kids to read because it makes you think. Tito has to make difficult decisions about gangs and guns. The book is sad and tense but also makes you laugh. He has a sister named Mina who gets him into embarrassing messes but she also gets him into a couple of scary confrontations. I liked this book. It's my favorite read this summer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We had to read this book in class. At first I didn't think I'd like it but it's my favorite now. It's really really really sad and I hated that we had to read it in class because I wanted to cry so bad but didn't want anyone to see me. YOu know what I mean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was in middle school. This book brought me to tears. It showed me that family is very, VERY important and to never let the bond between siblings be broken. I loved this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tito is a boy from L.A. who lives with his mom, his sister Mina, and his brother Jimmy. When Jimmy gets killed by gang bangers in a drive-by, they are then after Tito because of Jimmy's past. Tito has to get through a number of situations in order to survive. I liked the book because it has a lot of action and suspense, and it tells about real-life situations. If I read it, then I think I most students would like to read it. Teachers and older people would not like it because they usually read long, difficult books. It was cool!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutly love this book. It's the greatest that I've ever read in my whole life. It's my favorite book. I think everyone should check out the sequal to it too. Well their not sequals but they sortof go together as sequals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most interesting story I have ever read. I keeps you on your toes wondering what's going to happen next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My class just finished this book and they would not put it down. It is very realistic to the issues kids have to deal with in the inner city. I had the best book discussions of the year. NO DOUBT YOUR CLASS WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!