Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante

Spiegel & Grau
August 20, 2013
Hardcover

A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family — this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.

MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone — his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country — and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.

Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers — outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.

Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri

From a 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor winner comes a street-smart tale about a displaced teen who learns to defend what’s right — the Cowboy Way.

When Cole’s mom dumps him in the mean streets of Philadelphia to live with the dad he’s never met, the last thing Cole expects to see is a horse, let alone a stable full of them. He may not know much about cowboys, but what he knows for sure is that cowboys aren’t black, and they don’t live in the inner city. But in his dad’s hood, horses are a way of life, and soon Cole’s days of skipping school and getting in trouble in Detroit have been replaced by shoveling muck and trying not to get stomped on. At first, all Cole can think about is how to ditch these ghetto cowboys and get home. But when the City threatens to shut down the stables — and take away the horse Cole has come to think of as his own — he knows that it’s time to step up and fight back. Inspired by the little-known urban riders of Philly and Brooklyn, this compelling tale of latter -day cowboy justice champions a world where your friends always have your back, especially when the chips are down.

Ghetto Cowboy
by Greg Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson

Candlewick
Available August 9, 2011 in Hardcover