Down These Mean Streets

Down These Mean Streets

by Piri Thomas

Paperback(30th Anniversary Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679781424
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1997
Edition description: 30th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 131,115
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.77(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

PIRI THOMAS was born of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents in New York City's Spanish Harlem in 1928. Poverty in the ghetto led him to drugs, youth gangs, and a series of criminal activities, for which he served seven years in prison. There he began his life of rehabilitation, vowing to use his street and prison experience to turn youths away from lives of crime. Mr. Thomas then lectured at schools and universities across the country, and authored several books including Savior, Savior, Hold My Hand; Seven Long Times; and Stories from El Barrio. He died in 2011, at the age of 83.

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Down These Mean Streets 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, it was interesting, i didnt want to put it down, and im not the kind of person that likes to read, i think piri, he had a great time writing this book, remembering his childhood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 30 years ago when I was 16 years old and growing up on NY's lower east side. The drugs, the fight to survive the streets and the hope of coming away a better person are all things that were a major part of NYC life back in the 70's. I remembering reading this book in one day, not wanting to put it down for a minute. When my own son was 16 I gave him a copy of the book. He's read it 3 or more times since and we both claim it as our all time favorite book! This is a book that will take you into the dark city streets and make you feel like you're a part of the story. The writting is awesome and the characters come to life. A MUST READ
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great teacher that I had in High school gave me this book to read. I loved it, and I loved her for introducing me to the book. I couldn't put it down. Piri takes you back to his time to his world and makes you say wow...This man is deep, a great writer, so truthful with his words. This is a classic, I recomend it to any one. It's a must read...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember growing up around 112th street and Park Ave,and grew up as a young black man in Spanish Harlem. I had to deal with the same as Piri had to and the cycle continues. A definite must read
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many books but none like 'Down these mean streets'. In this book Piri takes you to his place in time. It's real that you can actually place yourself there and then. Lets not over look the fact that the times havent changed too much.. I felt Piri Thomas all the waaaaaaaay!!! I actually lived on that little Italian block on 114th Street that he spoke of where he got smashed in the face with Carne molida (Ground Beef)so he kinda took me back home with this one. 'Down these Mean Streets' is a definite classic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very interesting. I feel that not only young men of all nationalities should read this but women as well. I could not put it down. It made me laugh, cry and take a good look in the mirror!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book I was 12 years old. My oldest brother gave it to me. It gave me a new prospective on life. Now, 23 years later, I am in College, and I chose this book again. It is definetly a classic. At 12 I remember falling in love with the character which was Piri! Its great to see a man overcome all the barriers of poverty, crime, racism, etc., and become somebody. This is a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can relate to this book, I lived on the same streets. I want to read this book to my son, who does not know what it was like for me and the others who live in those mean streets. I think the book brings awareness to a real problem... Open your mind and read this book.
jmendoza on LibraryThing 27 days ago
263/337The book Down These Mean Streets was about a young boy Piri (who is also the author) growning up in the streets of New York, exspecially Harlem. It talks about how since he was a dark skinned Puerto Rican, and at that time if you were black you were seen as nasty and a outcast to everyone. So what Piri had to do was make a name for himself everytime they moved to a new neighborhood. There family was very poor and the dad worked very hard and was very abusive to the children. Piri always felt that there dad seemed to always blame everything on him. During the corse of the book he goes through drufs, drinking, moving away, a death, sex ect. Piri always felt he had to prove something to someone. He was a very weak minded person, meaning that under peer pressure he would do anything. Which i do not relate to but i do know the feeling of being asked to do something you know is bad. To describehis character in a few words it would be,"loving, scared, and lost." at the beginning of the book he had a lot of friends because the neighborhood they lived in was also Puerto Ricans. But when he moved into other races neighborhoods, such as the Italian neighborhood he moved into the first day he was there he got jumped by three Italian kids for his skin color. After this he fought to get his respect and it seemed to get the respect from all of the block his family had to move. something i didn't like about this book is that they talk too much in spanish. they have a dictionary in the back for this, but it sucks having to go in the back and look up a word. if i was to recommend this book to anyone i would recommend it to my cousin and my friend Adam because both have read a book by Piri Thomas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IS THIS BOOK FOR A 14 YEAR OLD TO READ???
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Defunkitated_Reader More than 1 year ago
And halfway pass the beginning, I wondered "Just what the hell is this school trying to make me read?!" This books stresses Piri being a dark skinned puerto rican and how he gets confused for being black and his issue with that. How being compare to being black is like the worse thing possible. And being a dark skinned hispanic (domincan) myself, the whole time I was reading this I just thought, "Suck it up man. Who cares what they think?" At the being one might think, that this book is such a stereotype and stating that we are all the same facing these problems daily and that we trough in random Spanish words in the middle of our sentence. "You got no Corazon." kind of thing. But then I thought, this was during the 30's, the great depression, world war 2. That was when I realized, this is amazing! For us now, it's usual to see things like this, but during the 50's? I don't think so. So you have to keep that in mind. It's not the same how it is now so all in all, it's a very educated book and made me glad how my parents raised me. As I read it, my proud attitude of my heritage and skin color never wavered.
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XAKid More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 1994 and shared it with my son in 2008. He shared it with his cousins and the book has not been back on the shelf since. it is a great book.
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