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VOYAWhen someone speaks of youth gangs, what picture comes to mind? Is it an image of kids in fancy cars slowly cruising the streets of South Central Los Angeles? Or might it be teenagers with beepers striding across trash-strewn parking lots in the Bronx? How about Tom Sawyer? After all, he was a gang leader. Or what about Billy the Kid? Or Studs Lonigan? In this fabulous resource for teachers and librarians, Johnson looks at twenty different examples from the world of literature, all of which explore the theme of youth gangs. And as if holding a jewel up to the light, Johnson displays the many facets of young gangs. What are the forces that push them into existence? Who joins and why? What role does violence play? Each chapter focuses on a specific book and pairs it with a historical parallel. For example, the chapter on William Golding's Lord of the Flies compares the increasing depravation of the boys on the island with the rise of Nazism in Germany. Johnson's writing style is friendly, with excellent plot summaries that read more like booktalks than literary criticism. This resource is one of a pair of books that introduce the Exploring Social Issues Through Literature series, joining Literature and the Environment, edited by George Hart and Scott Slovic (Greenwood, 2004). These books can serve as readers' advisory for librarians as well as supplemental literature for teachers looking to enhance an English class. 2004, Greenwood, 288p.; Index. Biblio., PLB . Ages adult professional.