We Beat the Street

( 4 )

Overview

Sampson, George, and Rameck could easily have followed their childhood friends into drugdealing, gangs, and prison. Like their peers, they came from poor, single-parent homes in urban neighborhoods where survival, not scholastic success, was the priority. When the three boys met in a magnet high school in Newark, they recognized each other as kindred spirits who wanted to overcome the incredible odds against them and reach for opportunity. They made a friendship pact, deciding together to take on the biggest ...

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Overview

Sampson, George, and Rameck could easily have followed their childhood friends into drugdealing, gangs, and prison. Like their peers, they came from poor, single-parent homes in urban neighborhoods where survival, not scholastic success, was the priority. When the three boys met in a magnet high school in Newark, they recognized each other as kindred spirits who wanted to overcome the incredible odds against them and reach for opportunity. They made a friendship pact, deciding together to take on the biggest challenge of their lives: attending college and then medical school. Along the way they made mistakes and faced disappointments, but by working hard, finding the right mentors, separating themselves from negative influences, and supporting each other, they achieved their goals—and more.

In We Beat the Street, award-winning YA author and teacher Sharon Draper brings the doctors' childhood, teenage, and young-adult anecdotes vividly to life. Brief “conversations” with the doctors at the end of each chapter provide context and advice in a friendly, nonintrusive way. Youngsters will be captivated by the men's honest accounts of the street life that threatened to swallow them up, and how they helped each other succeed beyond their wildest expectations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The authors of the adult bestseller The Pact here redirect their story for a younger audience. The three young doctors from Newark, N.J., reflect upon the seminal moments, people and relationships from early childhood to graduation that led them to choose medicine over the street (even though the boys "[didn't] even know anybody who went to college"). Each chapter begins with a childhood incident, followed by the doctor's narrative about what that event meant to his future. The authors honestly portray both their successes and failures, including flirting with crime. In one, Rameck Hunt, then in 11th grade, and some old friends (whom his mother called "thugs") beat a homeless man for smoking on school property, until he was critically injured; after Rameck's release from a weekend in a detention center, he resolves to focus on his future. George Jenkins's memory of his first trip to the dentist seeds the early passion that would grow into his own vocation in dentistry. The doctors show how their pact to stick together and support each other through college and medical school helped them achieve their goals. Throughout, the three stay true to themselves, such as when, in a summer pre-med program at Seton Hall, Sampson Davis defends wearing baggy jeans and sweats in a hospital: "If I live in the hood, and I work in the hood, then my patients will think I'm dressed appropriately, don't you think?" Readers searching for role models should find much to cheer and emulate here. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Sampson, George, and Rameck were three boys growing up in tough New Jersey neighborhoods. Drugs, robbery, and murder were normal. But a handful of positive influences guided them away from destruction toward each other. They made a pact to go to college. Their friendship and dedication to the pact led all three to graduate from college and medical school. Today they practice medicine and dentistry in the communities where they grew up. I could not put this book down. Each chapter shares an anecdote and personal remarks from one of "The Three Doctors." These are their stories from age six to adulthood. Speaking honestly of their discouragement, failures, and successes, they offer encouragement to kids who find themselves in hopeless situations. This book should be carefully shared with upper elementary and is a must-read for middle and high school. 2005, Dutton's Children's Books, 183 pp., Ages young adult.
—Vicki Sherbert
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-The Three Doctors, as the subjects of this inspirational book call both themselves and their nonprofit foundation, grew up in a tough neighborhood in Newark, NJ. Draper tells an epiphanic story featuring each of the young men by turn, followed by his comments on how a single event affected him across time. Davis, for instance, remembers the hospital where he later became an emergency-medicine physician as the same one where his foot was treated after an incident when he was six. Hunt recalls first meeting Sampson and Jenkins in ninth grade. Jenkins tells of the friends' success at moving from high school to college. Draper adds dialogue and evokes the pivotal moment in each vignette as though it were a scene in one of her realistic novels. The book takes the young men through college and medical school and into their careers. While Jenkins seems relatively calm and serious from the beginning, Hunt found himself in trouble right into medical school. Davis had trouble getting an emergency-medicine internship-and then found himself back in his Newark neighborhood, right where he knew he'd be serving his hometown. The writing here, whether Draper's or the doctors', is simple and accessible and there is plenty of action for reluctant readers. More advanced readers may want to read The Pact (Riverside, 2002), the Three Doctors' joint autobiography for adults.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525474074
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/21/2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 351,496
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.
George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.
George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt grew up together in Newark and graduated from Seton Hall University. Davis and Hunt received their medical degrees from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Jenkins received his dentistry degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry. The three doctors are the recipients of the Essence Lifetime Achievement Award. All three continue to live in Newark.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 "You Don't Have to Cut My Foot off, Do You?" Hanging Tough: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 3
Chapter 2 "Oh, Man, You're in Trouble Again!" School Problems: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 13
Chapter 3 "Isn't that School in the Ghetto?" Influential Teachers: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 21
Chapter 4 "We're Gonna Jack Us some Icees from Jack's!" Temptation and Its Consequences: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 28
Chapter 5 "How Much do You Need?" Dreams and Missed Opportunities: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 36
Chapter 6 "Are You Godzilla or King Kong?" The Beginnings of a Dream: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 44
Chapter 7 "Yeah, Man. They Say the Driver's Dead." Living and Dying on the Streets: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 50
Chapter 8 "I don't Even Know Anybody Who Went to College." Entering Seventh Grade: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins Making Good Grades: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 60
Chapter 9 "You Kids are Gonna Get Yourself Killed." The Call of the Streets: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 66
Chapter 10 "What's up with That? You Think You Better than Us?" So Easy to Fall into the Drug Scene: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 73
Chapter 11 "A Sticky Web of Bright Pink Silly String Across the Astonished Teacher's Face" Foolishness and Understanding: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 82
Chapter 12 "I Think We Could All do this-the Three of Us-Together!" The Beginning of the Pact: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 90
Chapter 13 "If He Dies, You Get Charged with Attempted Murder." Thanksgiving in Jail: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 100
Chapter 14 "How do You Plead?" The Judge Asked, "Guilty, Your Honor." Never Again: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 109
Chapter 15 "Not only Had Their Sons Survived, But They were Heading to College." Strengthening the Pact: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 121
Chapter 16 "It Feels Good, Man. It's Like Doing Push-Ups with My Brain!" The Possibility of Success: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 128
Chapter 17 "The Boy's Neck Bent in an Odd Way, and Hi Body Fell Limp." The End of Violence and the Start of Giving Back: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 137
Chapter 18 "Yo, Yo, Yo! Check It Out! Check It Out!" Rap Stars? A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 146
Chapter 19 "For the First Time Since High School, the Three of Us won't be Together." Hanging in there: A Conversation with Doctor George Jenkins 153
Chapter 20 "Driving while Black" The Possibility of Losing the Dream: A Conversation with Doctor Rameck Hunt 161
Chapter 21 "Sometimes You Gotta Fail in Order to Succeed." Going Back to Where It All Began: A Conversation with Doctor Sampson Davis 167
Chapter 22 "To Friends" 177
Conclusion 180
Shout-Outs! 185
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Great Story

    Great story wonderful book very inspirational

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    Yay Inspiration, boo childish literature

    'We beat the street' is an inspirational book about three young men and the challenges of growing up in a rough neighborhood, something, in a way, we can all relate to. With all the negative influences around them it would be hard to imagine life other than drugs, guns, and gangs, but Rameck, Sampson, and George beat the odds and beat the street. Though i recommend this book to everyone it may not be commended by those who want a more literture type work. This book contains a more simiplified verison of their life and doesnt not appeal to those who yearn for advanced language and rhetoric strategies. Dont get me wrong, its a good book that influences young people like me, but i was reading this for an English class and compared to others my book seemed a little premature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2005

    What a good book!

    I read Pact in school and I have to say it touched me in unbelievable ways. I am inspired by these three men. They have changed their lives into the best it could be and has inspired children from urban areas.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2005

    Outstanding

    This is one of the most heartwarming- heartfelt book a young person can read for inspiration and insight as to how three young men's, overcame so many opticals to reach their goal, to become successful Doctors and community leaders. They have also formed a foundation to help guide the children's in their community showing the youth that education is fun and is needed to succeed to have a better quality of life for themselves and family. It is really bad we do not have more professionals that are interest in the young youth of today

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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