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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hill Harper is a well-known and often lusted after actor who has played in movies such as Lackawanna Blues and the hit crime series CSI. However, LETTERS TO A YOUNG BROTHER shows a completely different side of him. Through the book, he shares his commitment to youth as well as a lot of his background and life expereinces. Harper immediately grabs your attention as he shares stories about his trailblazing family and his own Ivy League educational background. From there, he presents a series of letters which address many of the questions he receives from fans at speaking engagements, via email, or other avenues. As hereplies to these letters, he provides sound moral advice about how to live. In addition, he has reached out to some of his famous friends, other positive male role models, asking them to respond to some of the questions and includes thier responses in the book. He touches on education, financial stewardship, relationships with parents, and how to pick good friends. As he touches on the topics, he gives advice in an encouraging rather than preachy tone. In the end, readers will take away a myriad of positive messages, sound advice, and a new appreciation for the importance of hard work and personal responsibility.

Hill Harper has written a timely book that is intended for young, under-served male youth, and particularly African-American males. However, this is a book youth of any cultural or socio-economic background or gender, can benefit from reading. LETTERS TO A YOUNG BROTHER is a good book for parents, and people working with youth can also benefit from reading it. The MANifest Your Destiny Foundation, which was established by Harper, is a non-profit organization that facilitates the pairing of successful, positive role models with under-served youth and provides scholarship, grant and internship opportunities. The foundation shows the author is not just a man of talk, but also one of action. My only concern is perhaps this is a book that parents would want their children to read, rather than one they would naturally be drawn to.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay

of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has resonated with myself and many whom I love. I recommend this book very highly because of the brilliant communicated message, anecdotes, quotes and most of all raw truth and inspiration. It is a necessary read for all young brothers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had the great opportunity meeting/hearing Hill Harper at the Queens Public Library on May 1st 2006. I was moved with his enthusiasm to help the brothers. You felt his passion, sincerity and determination when he spoke.

Now,that I just completed reading the book I was greatly challenged to do more and step out of the shallow into the deep. This book needs to be planted in every brother's hands at achools,halfway homes, substance abuse programs and churches or wherever.

Get the book! Read the book! and Pass it on!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! I enjoyed the personality that shined through and the courage he had to open up, along with the ability to be very candid with the many topics chosen in writing this book. It's encouraging and inviting. You feel him and it makes you think and assess where you are in life, while supplying solutions/options to everyday dilemas. It's a great read for those stuck on what others think about them and has allowed those opinions to stump their growth and or potential. The book also focuses on choices, results and fulfilling your destiny by always being proactive.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2006
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I am so excited that there is a book of hope for young men. I enjoy the positivity and love that is expressed throughout this book for our Young Kings in training. There are about 500 people that I would like to recommend this book to, and I have already made a significant dent in those on my list. Let's continue to lift up these young people in LOVE and let our lives, not our words be the encouragement to keep them motivated!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This isn't the most enthralling or cogent book on the subject of black male identity and destiny, but brother Harper really won me over with his heartfelt personal truths and some pretty decent writing.

I would encourage all young brothers and "mothers" of young brothers to pick up a copy of this book right away. It'll be a cool summer read, too.

DA ISAAC AT CHA!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book addresses areas of concern to not only young black males, but all adolescent boys. For example, relationships with mothers, performance in school, gang affiliation, drugs and so on. The fact that it is written by a successful black man, in fact a movie star who draws on his celebrity connections frequently, should pull young readers in. Unfortunately the writer, in my opinion, is unable to sustain interest in the novel because he really has no "novel" insights. It is in the end a sermon by someone who was never really in the trenches, (though sometimes he implies he had a lot in common with his targeted audience) but a child brought up in a privileged family. There are too many overused cliches that sound good, but are difficult to implement. For example, "You never know when a miracle will happen." "Do the thing that frightens you." "Your best self will continually evolve."
OK, just what does that mean to a kid with serious drug, school suspensions, bad home life, missing parents and other issues. Hill's heart is in the right place, and the title is cleverly modeled on Rielke's work, Letters To A Young Poet, but as a teacher looking for some gems with which to inspire my sometimes troubled, insecure, unmotivated, searching, disillusioned, unloved adolescent students, I mined in vain.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For the record, I technically give this book 3.5 stars :)

I find it to be a straightforward, easy read that can encourage and motivate young people in general, if read and discussed with a parent or respected adult. Hill Harper seems fairly open, honest and responsible in his approach to responding to various questions that plague the minds of young brothers. Sincerity, concern and confidence resonate throughout the book and allows us adults a chance to peek into the wonderfully complex yet fascinating world of young brothers growing up today. I can see 11-15 year olds benefitting from the examples, experiences and outlooks given in this book and I recommend sharing it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
As I read this book, I thought about my high school days in Brooklyn, NY and my college years in Virginia. If I would have read this book at that time in my life, the decisions that I made at that time would have been a little more sound. I really wish I would have read this book much sooner. But I will make sure to pass it to the younger brothers that are a part of my life.

Although, this book is not a page turner, it is a GREAT read. And it will remain at the top of my list of books.

This is the perfect book for a young man who is somewhere between the end of his high school years and the end of his college years. It will help him to make decisions on life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My teenaged grandson wasn't at all enthusiastic when I gave him this book. Even after I made him read a few pages, and gave him the option of finishing or not depending on if he liked it, he put it down. But then, a few days later, I noticed he was mentioning things in the book and bringing up subjects covered by Mr. Harper. He admitted he had been reading it and it was 'pretty good', which translates to 'excellent'. I like the fact that you can read a few pages or open it to anywhere and just start reading something of interest. It motivates them to go back and start at the beginning so they don't miss anything. It might also give parents a jumping off place to start some needed conversations.
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