Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Retaliation by Yasmin Shiraz

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Violence runs rampant on the streets of Washington, DC, and on one seemingly quiet day, the Odom family finds its world destroyed when seventeen-year-old Tashera is brutally attacked by a group of high school girls. 
Retaliation exposes the corrupting existence of violence in our communities and the retaliatory measures families go through to protect themselves and their children.

My Thoughts:
This could have been ripped right out of the headlines of today's newspaper.  Tashera is a seventeen year old high school girl who is attacked while on her way home.  She is jumped by three girls she goes to school with.  She doesn't know why.  Her mother is very angry. The streets have already claimed one child. Her son Kahlil was paralyzed while running with a gang. Her oldest son has gotten out and become a lawyer. The problem is that the violence doesn't stop here.  They each find a way to retaliate for what was done to Tashera.  This is a problem in a lot of inner city areas.  The circle of violence just keeps going around and around.  However, as realistic as this book is, it leaves you with a feeling that there is always hope. The author has even included conflict resolution tips at the end of the book.  This would be an excellent book to be read aloud in the classroom.   I have been lucky in my life and career to not have experienced this situation.  However, last year I had a student who wrote a poem in which he expressed his biggest fear is dying in a drive-by shooting. This is something that happens often in his neighborhood.  If this book can be used to give even one student hope then it is most definitely worth the read.  It is a book I highly recommend.

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