If I Grow Up (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 9781416925231, 222pp.
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
"WHEN YOU GREW UP IN THE PROJECTS, THERE WERE NO CHOICES. NO GOOD ONES, AT LEAST." In the Frederick Douglass Project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis. DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawn's family can barely afford food for the month. How can he stick to his principles when his family is hungry? In this gritty novel about growing up in the inner city, award-winning author Todd Strasser opens a window into the life of a teenager struggling with right and wrong under the ever-present shadow of gangs.