Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Street Pharm
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Street Pharm

4.6 42
by Allison van Diepen

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A successful teen drug dealer is forced to reexamine it all in this riveting novel, now in trade paperback with a new cover, from the author of Snitch.

Ty Johnson knows survival. The supply game’s in his blood. And now that he’s taken over his pop’s business, Ty’s smarts and skills have earned him some serious street


A successful teen drug dealer is forced to reexamine it all in this riveting novel, now in trade paperback with a new cover, from the author of Snitch.

Ty Johnson knows survival. The supply game’s in his blood. And now that he’s taken over his pop’s business, Ty’s smarts and skills have earned him some serious street cred. But Alyse knows nothing about Ty’s reputation, and he’s determined to keep it that way. She’s too beautiful, too brainy, too straight-laced to ever get involved with someone who deals. As long as Ty walks the line, life’s pretty sweet.

Then one slip—one serious competitor—and things turn ugly fast. Suddenly Ty’s got to rethink his whole strategy. And for the #1 dealer on the streets, strategy is not just about staying ahead. It’s about staying alive.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kevin Beach
This rugged story examines the life of a young drug dealer caught between the banality of school and the world of crime. Ty knows how to survive on the streets. He has had to grow up in a hurry, inheriting his imprisoned father's drug trade. Ty is very good at it and likes the quick and easy money. His mother is clueless, wondering why he is doing so poorly in school. Ty's father expects him to keep the family business going until his release. Life gets really complicated for Ty when he falls for a classmate, an attractive, smart, unwed mother, Alyse. She despises drugs and what they have done to the neighborhood, unaware that her beau is successfully taking the local trade to a higher level. She believes in Ty and pushes him to stay in school and get his diploma. Things heat up when a rival gang moves in to take over. Will Ty become a violent gangster like his dad or start a new life with Alyse? Will he even survive? There is plenty of swearing, violence, and raunchy topics scattered in the dialogue and the action because this book takes a realistic look at life in a dangerous urban neighborhood. The author researched this story while working in a perilous inner-city Brooklyn high school. It is an eye-opening account of a nice kid who is caught between two worlds and has to make some tough decisions. It also conveys a poignant message for reluctant readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Set in Brooklyn, this urban drama novel depicts Ty Johnson's life as a 17-year-old African-American drug dealer. Taking over his father's territory seemed to be "all that" to Ty when he was younger, but now he realizes that there is more to life-mainly forming a relationship with Alyse, a single mother and his classmate at the local continuation high school. Struggling to hold onto the pieces of his father's business, he faces competition from out of town and things get serious. Neither Alyse nor his mother knows what sort of "work" Ty does until he ends up in the hospital after a drive-by shooting. Then the teen leaves school completely and moves out of his mother's apartment. He must decide who he is as his life is threatened and he loses the people closest to him. Easy to read and written in street slang including drug references and profanity, this debut novel will appeal to reluctant readers.-Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)
HL500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Street Pharm

  • What are you gonna be when you grow up?” That’s what most kids got asked.

    Not me.

    Mom always asked me what I wasn’t gonna be, and you know what she wanted me to say?

    A dealer, stealer, free-wheeler, player, hater, a downright dog—that’s what my dad was.

    When I came home from school, Mom was on the couch watching Dr. Phil. As usual.

    “How was school, baby?”

    “Good.” No way I was gonna tell her I got kicked out. Really ass-to-the-curb kicked out this time. Starting tomorrow, I was supposed to show up at some alternative school.

    “You working hard?”

    “Yeah.” Sweet, clueless Mom never noticed that I hadn’t carried a book bag since the ninth grade.

    “There’s beef patties in the oven.”

    I checked the clock: 3:37 p.m. She’d be getting up from the sofa in about three minutes, getting ready for fifteen, and out the door in twenty.

    When the commercial came on, Mom went to her room. I attacked the patties, only stopping to add more ketchup. A few minutes later, she came back into the kitchen in her grocery store uniform, her name tag already pinned on like she was proud or something. “You working tonight?” she asked me.

    “Yeah.” I gave up my cheek for a kiss while guzzling o.j., and she threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

    Mom thought I worked at the Flatbush Sports Club on Atlantic Avenue. I ain’t worked there a day in my life—but the manager owed me. He was one of my customers.

    Time to get down to this brother’s real bread-and-butter.

    I took out my cell and speed-dialed Sonny.

    “Ty! What the fuck’s going on? Why’d you turn off your cell?”

    “Mind your business. What’s going on?”

    “I need your help, son. Tonight we got us some deliveries.”

    “Already got some.”

    “Well, I got more for you.”

    “Go on.”

    I wrote the stuff in my phone.

    “Hold up,” I said, “who’s this Schultz guy?”

    “A new customer I met last week. Told him we was getting a shipment with the hottest shit this side of Bogotá. He gonna drop five Gs!”

    “You ain’t kidding. How’d he find out about us?”

    “In the fucking yellow pages.”

    “Seriously, Sonny, who told him?”

    “Who? Shit, like he was gonna tell me! What, you think his friend wants a finder’s fee or something?”

    “Listen, if you so confident about him, you make the delivery.”

    “Can’t, I promised Desarae we’d see a late movie. Schultz wants the stuff at ten.”

    “I’m not making this delivery unless you gimme some reason to think he ain’t a cop.”

    “Ty, this guy ain’t 5-0. Don’t you think I can sniff out a cop by now?”

    “I ain’t risking my neck on your sense of smell, Sonny. Tell Michael Brown to make the delivery.”

    Michael Brown.

    That little brother’d win the award for the most eager young hustler in Flatbush.

    Quick, reliable.

    Fourteen years old.

    “A’ight, I’ll tell Michael,” Sonny said. “He can drop some stuff off at the Wilkes place too.”

    That was what I liked about Sonny. He talked the shit, but when push came to shove, he always backed down. He knew the game was in my blood.

  • Meet the Author

    Allison van Diepen is the author of Street Pharm, Snitch, Raven, and Takedown. She teaches at an alternative high school in Ottawa, Canada. Visit her at

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    Street Pharm (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
    TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
    Ty Johnson knows how to survive in the real world, to take care of problems on the spot. He has everything in control and knows the way to run things. He's intelligent, patient, and skillful, everything he needs when he inherited his father's business. Everything is running smoothly for Ty and that's the way he wants it.

    But then a series of struggles and obstacles ruins the way Ty does things. Not only does he have to take care of a competitor who wants to run him out of business, but he has to deal with school, the only thing his mother wants him to focus on. That could be especially difficult when a girl like none other, Alyse, enters his life and makes him feel happy for once. The hardest part is trying to hide from his mother, and almost everyone new he meets, that he is involved in dealing drugs, the business that Ty's mother hoped to forget after Ty's father went to prison for it.

    Ty starts to question every action he does, from the moment he entered the business. With so many problems to handle, can Ty get through it all?

    Allison van Diepen takes on a risky plot that so many teens have heard about, but never knew much about, and pulls the reader in. STREET PHARM is a true coming-of-age story that causes the reader to be at the edge of their seat, quickly turning pages, and in the end wanting more. A quick, fast-paced read that is necessary for all teens to read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Street pharm by allison van diepen was a great book. I would give the book 2 thumbs up! It¿s about a 17 year old kid named Ty Johnson. His dad use to run the streets till one day he got busted. You¿ll have to read it to figure out why. Ty is a single child. His mom is never home so you already know Ty can take care of himself. Now that the king of the streets is on lockdown, will ty step up and take over? If you love books with drugs, nightlife, and some drama you will love this story! It¿s not just some gangster book with the usual drug deals and what not it has much more. It has a little love story to it. As you read, my advice to you is fastened your seatbelt, because it¿s a wildride. Out of 5 stars, I would give it 5 stars! I don¿t like to read much but when I started this book i couldn¿t put it down. The chapters are short and intense but theres a lot of them. But you better believe you will be hooked.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This was the best book i have read so far...As i started reading it ty's life was getting real intreasting. And the ending man if you are reading this i'm not going to tell you so just pick it up and read it...I know you'r going to love it as much as i do!?!?!?!?!?!?!?=p
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    im a big fan of new york city hard nosed books. this book kept me up all night.any teenager will like this book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    In Allison van Diepen’s Street Pharm, she writes a teen fiction tale that takes place in Brooklyn, New York. The story goes into the personal life of Ty Johnson and his struggle between keeping up with school and a life of crime selling drugs. Can he overcome all the obstacles? Seventeen year old Ty Johnson has been in and out of nearly every school in Brooklyn. The main reason, he is too busy running his father’s, Orlando’s, business behind his mother’s back. Orlando’s business is selling cocaine on the streets of Brooklyn. But now that Orlando is in prison Ty inherited the business and he and Sonny run it. Everything was going smoothly until Ty goes to Les Chancellor High where he meets a girl that rock his world, Alyse. But Ty hides his “family business” from Alyse and actually begins to slip from his pentacle, but not for long. An opposing dealer from Miami moves to Brooklyn and might just give Ty more than he bargained for. I found this novel to be electrifying and a fast read. Allison van Diepen hits the nail on the head and describes the troubles Ty faces in an eye opening way. She uses slang and terminology that can be commonly heard in any high school or on the streets. This book fills the reader with adrenaline and imagination and leads to a quick end making the reader want more.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book sucked sike it was one of the best books ive ever read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love this book. Its amazing and I recomend it to anyone who loves drama filled books!
    Kearstin More than 1 year ago
    I love this book! It always makes you keep reading. I could NEVER put it down. I even had it going into the bathroom. The ending is wonderful. So is the moral of the story. I recommend it for anyone the age 14 and up. It does have ALOT of drugs into it.
    dhscharm More than 1 year ago
    I would reccommend this book to young distracted teenage boys. Street pharm grabbed my attention from the moment I began reading it until the end. This story made me see what young boys today try to experience, yet I wish they had the desincy to get there mind back on the successful path of life like the main character of the book Tyrone Johnson (T.J.) did. Yes i Would be flattered to read many more books by this author.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Street Pharm review Growing up most kids are asked "what are you going to be when you grow up?" for Tyrone "Ty" Johnson it was the opposite. Ty was raised by his mother after his father was sent to jail; his father had a very successful drug empire which Ty took over. This book is realistic in the ways of what kids go through today having to hustle in the streets sometimes and do things on their own to survive and live. Sometimes kids get caught up the wrong things. I think that this book is good for kids that need something to relate to, as well as kids that have taken on a lot of responsibility at a young age. This book is compelling and morally challenging. I am so happy that I found this book, not only does it give readers something to relate to but it catches your attention from the beginning to the very end. The author did a very good job at giving the book and the books characters many dimensions. She kept it interesting and took the book to another level. Street pharm is a book that will catch your interest and it will not let you down.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    So like, this must be telling a story of a a boy who didnt think that school was right for him, so he got kicked out and dealed. He knew that school was a waste of time by the 7th grade, age fourteen. It doesnt surprise me that he didnt want to be in school because he knew all the math he needed to know for drugs, and the gym skills for playing ball or for working out. Throughout the book, i think that this was an amazing book, just like Snitch.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    -Mr_Magnifasent- More than 1 year ago
    I read this book 2 times and when I read it the 2nd time its like i never read it before. It has romance, gangsta moments, sad moments, and every thing else you can find in a great book! You should look out for other books from Allison van Diepen like SNITCH and RAVEN. STREET PHARM is 1 of the greatest books of this generation. So get this book!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Guest More than 1 year ago
    this book is cool. is one of the few if not the only book that has caught my attention.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    Street pharm is a very good book. I truely enjoyed it. There is a good theme to it. Its about a teenage boy that starts out in the wrong path and changes it during the time.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    I think this book is a sad book but very interesting and intertaining.