Tyrell

( 71 )

Overview


An astonishing new voice in teen literature, writing what is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of the year.

Tyrell is a young African-American teen who can't get a break. He's living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father's in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn't feel good enough for her -- and seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her. There's another girl at the homeless ...

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Overview


An astonishing new voice in teen literature, writing what is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of the year.

Tyrell is a young African-American teen who can't get a break. He's living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father's in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn't feel good enough for her -- and seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her. There's another girl at the homeless shelter who is also after him, although the desires there are complicated. Tyrell feels he needs to score some money to make things better. Will he end up following in his father's footsteps?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

rkus
After his DJ father is incarcerated for drug dealing, 15-year-old Tyrell, his brother and his mother are rendered homeless and move to a slummy city shelter in the Bronx. His mom's ineffectual attempts at keeping the family afloat financially and emotionally soon fall flat, and Tyrell is forced to take the family's situation into his own hands. Inspired by his father, he decides to throw a secret dance party in an abandoned bus garage with a steep admission charge guaranteed to boost his family's income.
Booth, a writing consultant for the NYC Housing Authority, clearly understands how teens living on the edge–in shelters, in projects, on the street–live, talk and survive. It's the slick street language of these tough but lovable characters and her gritty landscapes that will capture the interests of urban fiction fans. While the complex party-planning plotline doesn't exactly cut a straight path, its convoluted-ness undoubtedly illustrates the kinds of obstacles these teens must overcome and the connections they need to make in order to survive–inside or outside the law. (Fiction. YA)
. . .

*STAR*Booklist
“You don't hardly get to have no kinda childhood in the hood.” At 15, Tyrell, is trying to keep his little brother in school and safe in their roach-infested shelter in the Bronx. He's dropped out of school, and Moms wants want him to sell weed to make money. But Tyrell is too smart. He doesn't want to end up in prison like his dad, so he tries to organize a neighborhood party to raise money. His girlfriend, Novisha, isn't happy that Tyrell has dropped out. She loves him, and they make out, but he respects her wish to remain a virgin. Booth, who was born and raised in the Bronx, is now a social worker there, and her first novel is heartbreakingly realistic. There are some plot contrivances––including Tyrell's stumbling upon Novisha's diary––but the immediate first-person narrative is pitch-perfect: fast, funny, and anguished (There's also lots of use of the n-word, though the term is employed in the colloquial sense, not as an insult). Unlike many books reflecting the contemporary street scene, this one is more than just a pat situation with a glib resolution; it's filled with surprising twists and turns that continue to the end. ––Hazel Rochman

Publishers Weekly
In her first novel, set in a Brooklyn ghetto, Booth conveys the frustration of a teenager who is trying to lead a better life despite all the pressures to do otherwise. Narrator 15-year-old Tyrell is in love with Novisha ("that's the only thing I got going for me right now") and dreams of the two living together. However Tyrell faces some major challenges. With his father in jail for the third time, Tyrell is homeless. He's living temporarily at the roach-infested Bennett Motel ("got rats the size of cats and shit"), sharing a room with his mother and little brother, Troy. He needs a way to make some money, but he wants to be sure it's legal: "I get locked up, Troy gonna end up back in the system." Using his father's DJ equipment, Tyrell forms a plan that could bring in a good chunk of money and get them back in an apartment. Using the voice of an inner-city teen, Booth keeps the story focused on Tyrell and his ups and downs as he struggles to do the right thing, and keeps the plot developments realistic-especially Tyrell's relief after his brother is taken by the Administration for Children's Services, allowing him the opportunity of freedom ("Back home to the projects. Where I belong"). Tyrell's frank talk about sex may be offensive for some readers, but only adds to his character's credibility. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Tyrell's dad is in prison and his mom's fraud conviction--she took advantage of the welfare system--keeps the family from getting a decent apartment. When Tyrell's mom tells him that she expects him to take over as the man of the house and take care of her and Tyrell's younger brother, Troy, Tyrell knows that his options are limited. He also knows that he does not want to deal drugs or do anything illegal that would jeopardize his relationship with his girlfriend, Novisha, a straight-A student who expects a great deal from herself and from Tyrell. When Jasmine, a girl Tyrell's age who has been deserted by her older sister, looks to Tyrell for friendship (and maybe something else), he finds his life becoming complicated almost beyond his control. Determined to make money, he organized a "party" where he will be the DJ and charge people overhead--and then let various acquaintances come in and sell drinks, food, and, possibly drugs. But can Tyrell actually pull the party off and keep himself out of jail? And to what cost to his relationships with Novisha, Jasmine, and his family? A strong novel about a young man who knows that he does not want to follow in his parents' disastrous footsteps.
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
Tyrell Green inherits the literary turf previously walked upon by Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield-adolescence as seen through the eyes of a young male. But Tom and Holden would not last a day in Tyrell's tough, inner-city world. Forced to relocate with a mentally challenged younger brother and his maternally challenged mother, or "my moms" as he refers to her, to a roach-infested shelter, he struggles between his love for virginal Novisha and his sexual attraction for sultry Jasmine. All the while, he makes his way through a world rife with gangs, drugs, and little prospect for a future of any kind, save for the money he might rake in by throwing a huge party in an empty building. Mastery of Tyrell's voice and dialect is the book's greatest accomplishment. Readers are fully immersed in his world, a transition so seamless that the reader never notices before he or she is surrounded. In a lesser author's hands, Tyrell's speech patterns would be distracting, but with Booth it is a natural fit. This tiny epic is a glimpse at a place many readers will never visit, and others will never leave. Everything is captured and held up to the light, not for judgment but to show readers that life like Tyrell's actually happens. Booth's undertaking is a monumental one, and let the record show that she provides the definitive tale of the modern African American urban youth.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
Tyrell lives in a homeless shelter in the Bronx with his mother and his younger brother. His father is in jail, and 15-year-old Tyrell knows he doesn't want to end up there himself, but dangerous temptations abound. His girlfriend Novisha expects a lot from him, and a new girl he meets, Jasmine, wants more than just friendship. Meanwhile, Tyrell just wants to make enough money to get his family into an apartment, and so he comes up with a plan to hold a secret dance party and charge admission, with Tyrell as the D.J. Booth, a Bronx teacher and social worker, clearly knows the world of her inner-city characters; the novel feels absolutely real. The language reflects that (e.g., "that nigga can talk some mad shit when he get started"), and sex, drugs, and violence are here, too. Inner-city teens and those curious about that world will find it memorably depicted here.
Judy Beemer
Tyrell's world is not easy to hear about. A homeless African-American teen in the Bronx, Tyrell's goal is to hold his family together and move his spaced-out mother and seven-year-old brother "home" to the projects. Available money-making ventures, though, also involve brushes with the law, and Tyrell doesn't want to end up in jail like his father: "I don't wanna be the kinda man my pops turned out to be. . . .Nah. I'ma hafta do better than him." Readers listen to Tyrell for just one week, but that is enough to recognize the frustration of his world. "I really wanna put my fist through the wall. . . . I gotta do something. I wanna go somewhere, but I don't got nowhere to go." Born in the Bronx, author Coe Booth continues to live there, and this first novel takes mature readers there, too.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Now that his father is in jail, nothing seems to be going right for 15-year-old Tyrell. His mother's refusal to work and her stint with welfare fraud have forced them into homelessness and life in a roach-infested shelter in Hunts Point. At the shelter, Tyrell soon realizes that his attraction to another resident, Jasmine, could derail his dreams of a future with his girl, Novisha. Torn between the needs of the women in his life and his seven-year-old brother, Tyrell is determined to stay clean as he agonizes over creating a new life for his family. Booth combines the rhythm of raw street lingo with the harsh realities of an inner-city urban life to illuminate the labyrinth of Tyrell's world. As he struggles to escape this circle of poverty, he must also battle dual temptations of sexual frustration and the easy money he could make as a drug dealer. This is a thrilling, fast-paced novel whose strong plot and array of vivid, well-developed characters take readers on an unforgettable journey through the gritty streets of New York City's South Bronx. At its heart is the painful choice the teen must make as he realizes the effect of his mother's failure to do right by their family.-Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After his DJ father is incarcerated for drug dealing, 15-year-old Tyrell, his brother and his mother are rendered homeless and move to a slummy city shelter in the Bronx. His mom's ineffectual attempts at keeping the family afloat financially and emotionally soon fall flat, and Tyrell is forced to take the family's situation into his own hands. Inspired by his father, he decides to throw a secret dance party in an abandoned bus garage with a steep admission charge guaranteed to boost his family's income. Booth, a writing consultant for the NYC Housing Authority, clearly understands how teens living on the edge-in shelters, in projects, on the street-live, talk and survive. It's the slick street language of these tough but lovable characters and her gritty landscapes that will capture the interests of urban fiction fans. While the complex party-planning plotline doesn't exactly cut a straight path, its convoluted-ness undoubtedly illustrates the kinds of obstacles these teens must overcome and the connections they need to make in order to survive-inside or outside the law. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439838801
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 53,355
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Coe Booth is a graduate of The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, and a winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. She is the author of Tyrell and Kendra, and was born and still lives in the Bronx.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Long Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    Coe Booth's first novel, TYRELL, is a masterfully written, gritty reality check of urban life through the eyes of a heavily burdened fifteen-year-old. After his father is sentenced to prison (for the third time), it is up to Tyrell Green to take care of both his deranged mother and his seven-year-old brother, Troy. But Tyrell is only fifteen! Not only is he living in a completely run-down shelter, but he is broke, out of school, and struggling for some way to earn money to get his mom and brother out of shelter care and into an apartment of their own. <BR/><BR/>In a place like the Bronx, it is easy for young adults to get caught up in a life of crime. Tyrell knows this, but is also a man of principle (for the most part, at least). Refusing to earn his quick buck through such shady sources as drug dealing, he originates a plan to get the money he needs to get things back to the way they were. The question of whether it will work, or whether it will blow up in his face....you'll have to read TYRELL to find out (but it's worth it!) <BR/><BR/>The great thing about TYRELL is that Coe Booth keeps the pressure on at all times. Real life drama is quilted into the novel until the very end, and it is both humbling and very entertaining to read. She also incorporates real urban vernacular (e.g. "slang") to create an extremely real and convincing narrative. <BR/><BR/>Coe Booth creates an atmosphere so believable it's impossible not to walk away after reading the novel and not have taken something with you. The characters experience the lowest of lows, the highest of highs, and everything in-between throughout the course of the story--and it doesn't stop until the very end. Dripping from head to toe with sharp turns and very surprising climaxes, it's sure to keep you consumed until the last page. <BR/><BR/>It's a lot to pack into a story, but Booth does it gracefully and with extraordinary skill. I praise Ms. Booth's first novel and am waiting anxiously for the next. <BR/><BR/>Plus, she's a PUSH novelist, and it doesn't get much better than PUSH!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2011

    I read this book at my middle school with my reading teacher and i loved it it was so wonderful great story i want to read more stories from this author people you should get this book you would love it to although it is sad it is a good read and a page turner for me

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Awesome

    This+was+an+extremely+good+book..+i+ened+up+talking+like+him+for+a+week+after+i+read+it+but+it+was+worth+it+lol.+His+other+book+kendra+is+just+as+good+if+not+better.+I+reccomend+both%21

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    distasteful

    I was so unpleased with the book in the first chapter I skipped to the middle then the end of the book to see if it got any better. And it didn't. the language is inappropriate for school age children. I do not want my kids to think that this kind of language and/or grammar is appropriate. It is very upsetting to know that this book is recommended for kids at the age of 12.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    I Recommend It AS SAD, AWESOME, AND INTERESTING BOOK

    Tyrell by Coe Booth is a very sad, and awesome book. IT is a very good book. I would recommend it to a friend and i would also recommend it to young adults and other teenagers like me as well and kids like twelve or eleven years old i would recommend it to. Tyrell talks about how tyrell has to become the man of the house. His mother and his little brother has to live in the shelter. IN the book, it seems like everybody is putting pressure on tyrell ,especially his own mother because his father is locked up. so I love the book i fell in love with it when i first read the first chapter and it is also very interesting. BUT the only bad thing is that the book has very short chapters. but i still recommend it to other people who would love to read the book... S


    SO PICK UP THE BOOK PEOPLE!! it is worth your money people!! if you fall in love with the book!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    U REALLY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK ITS VERY VERY VERY GOOD ; )

    i really loved the book it really felt like i was in it and it got drama in it that some kids are dealing with right now. and how tyrell and jasmine is together wow if that was me it would have be realllllllllllllllllly hard for me to sleep with tyrell it feels like i already seen/know him all ready in real life. But anywayz the book was really good and i hope it has a part 2 in the book and i will share it out to everyone i know including in my teachers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    The BEST book i have ever read!

    I LOVED this book! i am 15 and i really dont like to read, unless i have to...but i went to a local library were i live and i saw 'Tyrell' on the shelf...once i opened it i could not put it down! I finished that book in 1 1/2 days! I am really looking forward to reading more of Coe Booths book. I really enjoyed the book very much!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2006

    A Great Read

    I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about real life drama. It was a really really really good book. I found myself rooting for Tyrell all the way through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Great

    This book is my fav amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Lilystar

    Lilystar purrs and nuzzles Wolfsun. "I'll always be leader in a way. If anything threatens my clan or if it deviates from Starclan or the Warrior Code, I'll fight to bring it back. I will be watching Velvetstsr closely. It is my rightful place but the clan comes first. I'm planning on holding a clan meeting to announce this tonight. That's why I needed to talk to you. I didn't want to resign without your approval. As for Thymedust, I am irritated with him as well. If he causes any more trouble, he'll be forced to deal with me!" The tabby unsheaths her claws, digging them into the ground. ~ Lilystar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Wolfsun

    I approve just as long as sometime you become ader again. She purrs and licks her mothers shoulder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    This book OMG!!!!!

    This book is so good that i hope he make a part three i read part one and two for thoes who dont know the name of part two it is call bronxwood are you can just go to related titles and press more by this arthour and then look for bronx wood i wish he will make a part three already!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Great book

    Relly liked it eveyone should read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Omg

    I must say that this is the best book that I have ever read! Trust me when i say that I have over 900 books. This book does give you hope and it is funny. But overall this book is worth the money and then some,

    Devotion143

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Great .

    I ? This Book . It's Just A Real African American Getting Around Like We Do . That's Why You Can Feel It .It's A Great Book So Far AnyMore Like It ?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    LOVE

    Love this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Amazinggggggggg

    Loved it coe booth is an excellent author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Book world

    This is one good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Great story, however if u wish to have your child read this book

    Great story, however if u wish to have your child read this book, i recomend that they be over the age of 13. I read it when I was in 6th grade, and it didn't really bother me at all. I grew up around drug dealing and foul language, so I was really able to relate to the story (even though i'm from Inglewood).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Tyrell

    This is the best book cause you can picture it and its like real life and things people would do!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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