Harlem Hustle Review

Harlem Hustle
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HARLEM HUSTLE tells the story of Eric Sampson, a teen-aged boy who has earned the nickname Harlem Hustle. Eric has recently spent time in jail while awaiting trial after being arrested for attemptig to steal a coat. Fortunately, he was able to get off with only probation, but in the process, he has learned that life in jail is not for him. He hasn't had an easy life, at seventeen, he has already spent several years fending for himself after being abandoned by drug addicted parents. Hustling has been a means of survival for him and although he has dreams, it seems, he is too afraid and hurt to aspire to make them reality. As the story develops, Eric is presented with opportunities, his dream of becoming a rapper seems as if it just might come true. Or will it? HARLEM HUSTLE follows Eric through the ups and downs of his daily life, from the highs of success, new love, and hope, to the lows of disappointment and rejection.
Janet McDonald has created an interesting male protagonist who young adult readers will be able to relate to and empathize with. Though his particular experiences may differ from those of readers, his feelings of angst, frustration, fear, and his need for acceptance are universal. HARLEM HUSTLE has good pacing, a carefully developed main character, and an interesting and well thought out group of secondary characters. The book is timely, as many young males aspire to become rappers, and unfortunately, many are wowed by the fast life and the streets. HARLEM HUSTLE conveys subtle messages about the ills of fast-living, while creating a tale that grabs you from the beginning and keeps you invested until the last page.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

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