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Cover for Tough Boy Sonatas

Tough Boy Sonatas

Curtis L. Crisler, Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)


List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The darkness--and the goodness--in the lives of the young men of Gary, the armpit-city of Chicago, cries out in this poetry. The Chocolate City. Hell. The Land of Robbing Hoods. Gary, Indiana, has a number of names. It stands as a mother guarding her roach-like inhabitants, their crime, their greed. Has God left this town? Has He left the crumbling church where parishioners pocket donations for hamburgers and candy? Or does He turn the other cheek to pious morality, happy instead to see laughing and card playing and love from His flock on Saturday night? The solitary voice of the city's young men pose these questions in this bittersweet, poetic collection. Both angry poverty and innocent childhood are explored in this YALSA/ALA Best Book for Young Adults by Curtis Crisler with unclothed sincerity.

Praise For Tough Boy Sonatas

* "The speakers represent voices that are rare in books for youth, and their furious yearning for justice, love, safety, sex, and a good education is unforgettable, as is their hope in what Crisler calls hell." --Booklist, starred review

* "These poems are muscular and vivid, fierce with the sound and force of language." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Floyd Cooper's sepia-toned pastels with a judicious use of blue or orange create psychological portraits of the characters here. Even inanimate objects (a cityscape, a house) pulse with life." --Publishers Weekly

Wordsong, 9781932425772, 88pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2007

About the Author

Curtis L. Crisler is a Cave Canem Fellow at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he teaches creative writing. His work has been published in The Fourth River, Black Arts Quarterly, and the book Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami, edited by Judith R. Robinson. Mr. Crisler lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Floyd Cooper is a renowned children's book illustrator whose works include Granpa's Face by Eloise Greenfield, Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes, and Miz Berlin Walks by Jane Yolen. Mr. Cooper lives with his wife and two sons in Easton, Pennsylvania.