From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–The Three Doctors, as the subjects of this inspirational book call both themselves and their nonprofit foundation, grew up in a tough neighborhood in Newark, NJ. Draper tells an epiphanic story featuring each of the young men by turn, followed by his comments on how a single event affected him across time. Davis, for instance, remembers the hospital where he later became an emergency-medicine physician as the same one where his foot was treated after an incident when he was six. Hunt recalls first meeting Sampson and Jenkins in ninth grade. Jenkins tells of the friends' success at moving from high school to college. Draper adds dialogue and evokes the pivotal moment in each vignette as though it were a scene in one of her realistic novels. The book takes the young men through college and medical school and into their careers. While Jenkins seems relatively calm and serious from the beginning, Hunt found himself in trouble right into medical school. Davis had trouble getting an emergency-medicine internship–and then found himself back in his Newark neighborhood, right where he knew he'd be serving his hometown. The writing here, whether Draper's or the doctors', is simple and accessible and there is plenty of action for reluctant readers. More advanced readers may want to read The Pact
(Riverside, 2002), the Three Doctors' joint autobiography for adults.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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Gr. 7-10. "What started out as three boys skipping class turned out to be the most significant experience of our lives," says George Jenkins, who, together with Sampson Davis and Rameck Hunt, made a teenage pact to leave their impoverished New Jersey neighborhood, attend medical school, and become doctors. Author Sharon Draper helped shape chapters, written in the third person, describing each doctor's challenging childhood experiences, including a parent's drug addiction, forays into crime, and succeeding in an environment that made "failing equal to being cool." Following each story, passages written in the doctors' own words offer advice and strategies, and acknowledge the help received along the way. This information is directed straight to young people growing up in similar circumstances, but all readers will be riveted by the profoundly inspirational stories and personal, intimate voices that frankly discuss big mistakes and complicated emotions, including "survivor guilt" for choosing a different path from friends and family. Strong readers may want to follow this with the doctors' first book, for adults, entitled The Pact
(2002). Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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