Publication Date: April 2001
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I'm DeShawn WilliamsI'm ten years oldcome see who I live with --who I love
From this inviting opening, we are swept into ten-year-old DeShawn's world where we meet his family, his friends, and learn about his hopes and dreams. DeShawn lives in the projects, where "You don't just hear music / you hear sirens too /cop cars and ambulances /screaming all the time /real loud at you." This is also a place where neighbors gather for barbecues, and where DeShawn and his cousin build a snowman in the winter. We experience the death of DeShawn's grandmother, deeply feeling his sadness and loss. And we share the hope as he and his mother turn to each other for comfort. Readers from all backgrounds will be charmed by this upbeat, compassionate, and creative young boy.
In his first children's book, author Tony Medina draws from his experiences growing up in the projects to create this dynamic character. Award-winning artist R. Gregory Christie beautifully captures the emotion, humor, and strength of the story through his powerful illustrations. An afterword from the author expands on his connection to the story and explains how he was inspired to become a writer.