A Hero Ain't Nothin But a Sandwich

A Hero Ain't Nothin But a Sandwich

4.7 17
by Alice Childress
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Benjie can stop using heroin anytime he wants to. He just doesn't want to yet. Why would he want to give up something that makes him feel so good, so relaxed, so tuned-out? As Benjie sees it, there's nothing much to tune in for. School is a waste of time, and home life isn't much better. All Benjie wants is for someone to believe in him, for someone to believe that

…  See more details below

Overview

Benjie can stop using heroin anytime he wants to. He just doesn't want to yet. Why would he want to give up something that makes him feel so good, so relaxed, so tuned-out? As Benjie sees it, there's nothing much to tune in for. School is a waste of time, and home life isn't much better. All Benjie wants is for someone to believe in him, for someone to believe that he's more than a thirteen-year-old junkie. Told from the perspectives of the people in his life-including his mother, stepfather, teachers, drug dealer, and best friend-this powerful story will draw you into Benjie's troubled world and force you to confront the uncertainty of his future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698118546
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
251,704
Product dimensions:
0.35(w) x 7.11(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

A Hero Ain't Nothin But a Sandwich 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main character in A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (written by Alice Childress) is Benjie, an African-American thirteen year old boy who lives in the bad part of town, where racism and violence are norm, and drugs are the only way out. Benjie lives in a apartment with his grandmother Mrs. Ransom Bell, his mom Rose 'Sweets' Johnson (soon to be Rose Johnson Craig), and his soon-to-be stepfather Butler Craig, who he has made up his mind to hate because he thinks that Butler's trying to take his mother from him. Whenever he is challenged by a problem at home or school, he resorts to denial and drugs. He steals from his family for drug money ('I had to take three bucks outta my grandmother's pocketbook, but I wasn't stealin it... I knew Jimmy-Lee would lend me three singles so I could slip back what was borrowed before anyone found out.'), but flatly denies being addicted to drugs, like when he says 'I take somethin sometime, but I ain't no user.' His other fault is that he thinks the world is against him. He dumps his friend Jimmy-Lee when he stops doing drugs and tells Benjie that he should do the same, it makes Benjie feel like a lesser person. He hates his teachers when they turn him in when he was high in class, and he hates everyone who says that he has a drug problem because, as he says, he doesn't have a drug problem. He believes that no one understands him, and he needs someone to believe that he isn't just some thirteen-year-old-junkie. But he won't let anyone believe in him. He knows they have no reason to like him, so they must not. Only when Butler stops him from jumping off a building does he find the person who had already believed in him. Benjie's main problem seems to be that he uses drugs, which hurts his life. He steals from his family and pushes his true friend away. Teachers constantly find him high in class, staring out the window, wondering where he's going to get his next hit. He agues with family, sometimes for no reason at all. But when the people around him try to clean his veins of skag and offer him help and comfort, he just pushes them away. People give up on him every time he goes back to drugs, thinking that they've done all they could to save Benjie. But what they don't realize is that their solution to Benji's problem didn't work because they were solving the wrong problem. Nobody can stop Benjie from using drugs because they don't give him a reason not to. One time he says 'Please God,' I prayed, 'send me a friend, someone to be crazy bout me Pleeeeease, God!' Clearly he wants someone to believe in him, and eventually he does say that he wants somebody to believe that is more than a thirteen-year-old junkie. But without that person, drugs are the only way to handle life for Benjie. Benjie finds his prayer when his previously hated stepfather saves Benjie from falling off his New York apartment roof, and showing him he really does care about him, does Benjie stop shooting up and starts to try to make his way in life. When you read this book, you get completely lost in it, and the characters come completely alive. You could see exactly what their personalities were, how they fitted into the community, and their thought process and feelings. Many a time, you almost expect to feel their warm breath as they exhale. What made this story so interesting andreal was the slang, misspelling, and the use of multiple views. When you are told that Benjie hates Butler, you are on Benjie's side, until Butler gives his view. Suddenly, both parties are equally in fault, and a new twist is added . When I finally finished the book, I forgot I was in California, not New York.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All,I have to say is that this book is really good. One love to another one love booklover..its great Devotion143
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was amazing. The slang is heavy but this is a talking book. Which means it is written how the people actually speak so my advice would be to read outloud what you see written. It is easier to understand the language wont be such a trip up. It was great and very heart felt. Just loved
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, by Alice Childress, is novel of a young thirteen year olds struggle with a drug addiction, racism, and finding himself amongst everyone else. The novel is a great book to be read, especially for to those in middle school because of the relation that they can make in the novel to their real life. Although the story is nearly forty-years old, the same problems still exist in our society, even so amongst the confused teenagers who struggle with self-identification. A quality that I found extremely pleasing in the novel was Childress's use of the African American slang and tongue; it really gives the story-line an authentic feel and entices the interest of the reader more. I highly recommend this novel to be read, but find that it best suites readers ages 12 or older.
ZBOY808 More than 1 year ago
I read these boob in 1978-79 I used to work at the library during the summer the security guard there at the time (David) payed my buddy and I 5 bucks a day to sweep around the place one day he told me to read this book and I was'nt really in to reading books but this book? when I started I could'nt stop ! through out my life I would always think of this book and tell people about it now 30 some years latter I am buying 1 for the kids in my life to read Thanks to David for giving me this book and a special thanks to Alice Childress ALOHA & MAHALO JAMES
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For reminding me that i am human and i am not alone. Even though your books tittle is a hero aint nothin but a sandwhich . Well guess what? your my hero -patricia m.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read. I saw the movie on a field trip for school when I was younger. This story has always stayed with me. I am faced with an issue close to this one. And I have to remind myself that, ' A HERO AIN'T NOTHIN BUT A SANDWHICH!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alice Childress A Hero Ain¿t Nothin¿ But a Sandwich Drama Little Benji, only 13 years old, is addicted to heroin. He has the choice to quit but the heroin makes him feel better about himself, and get through his days in the ghetto, so he doesn¿t want to quit. Alice Childress did a very good job of pulling me into the story. I read about five pages, and I just wanted to keep reading. It pulled me in from the very beginning. I like when books pull me in from the beginning, because then I am interested and can¿t wait to see what will happen. While reading this book I did not have to use strategy. It was a fairly easy book to read, but a very good one. I had a question that haunted me all the way through the book. Why had Benji been addicted to heroin at such a young age? Why had he even started in the first place? Why would he hurt himself like that so young? This novel really caused me to think about people my age who gave an entirely different life. I recommend this book to people ages 12 and up do to strong language.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a charming story about a preteen boy named Benjie who becomes hooked on drugs. His family and friends do everything they can to get him to stop, but he is hooked and can't control himself - even though he claims he isn't hooked. Meanwhile, Benjie's mother's fiance, Butler, turns away from Benjie's family because Benjie is very mean to him. Benjie's mom is very upset. Will Benjie ever get off drugs? If he can, will he be able to help his family and friends reunite? This book has a surprise ending, so go to your nearest library and check it out! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because it gives a descriptive insight on what it is like living in the ghetto. I reccomend the book to someone who enjoys reading reality books and looking at everyone's different insight of the ghetto.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to read A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich because a friend of mine told me about it. After reading it I loved it, it was very interesting to see the struggles and ineractions between the characters. It also shed light on what it is like in the ghetto. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about people. P.S. some of the slang is hard to understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I THING THIS BOOK IS VERY GOOD SO FAR EVEN THOUGH I'M ON CHAPTER 2. I WENT TO BARNES NOBLE TO PURCHSE THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. I LOOKED IN THE TEEN SECTION AND LOOKED AT THE BOOKAND I DECIDED TO BUY IT. IT IS REALLY GOOD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 12, and one day in the school library me and my friends were playin around and picking out the dumbest book we could find! I grabbed this title. and cracked up. we sat in the library laughing, and when I opened the book and started reading fer a few minutes, I realized that it was one of the best books I have read b4!!! its about a boy who does drugs and is about to be hooked, everyone is trying to save him! the boy wants attention... and his whole family is growing apart! I recommend this book to everyone.. its the bestest! I SWEAR! I LOVE THIS BOOK and I really wanna buy it to keep! -Alyson
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a really good veiw of how the ghetto used to be and still is. Its about a mother trying to get her baby back and a father bonding with his child.This whole book is centered around a boy striving for attention.