- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse Hardcover – July 28, 2009
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Special Offers and Product Promotions
“Many people talk about what they can do to reach across divides, to create a better world. The Rosens didn't just talk -- they plunged, headlong, into an extraordinary adventure of shared purpose and unflinching commitment. Michael Rosen takes readers on a death-defying journey -- gritty, surprising, funny and fiercely honest. What was defied? The death of hope. What we're now graced with? An inspring book about what one family can accomplish.”
Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Carry Me Home
“For Michael Rosen to have lived this story would've been sufficient. For him to be able to write about it with such beauty and grit, such delicacy and bluntness, seems like a gift of destiny. What Else But Home renders our country's defining forces of race and class--and immigration--down to the society's molecular unit, the family, and shows us what we have become and might become, in all our heroic messiness. This is a valentine to America's diversity--and indeed to every enterprise of courage, chaos and love that results in magic.”
“Affecting…Rosen writes with deep honesty and humility, and an attunement to language. His story is about generosity and love, stretching boundaries, going beyond what’s comfortable, and about trying to make change possible.”
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey From the Projects to the Penthouse by Michael Rosen, is a tough minded, unsparingly honest, brilliantly written book about one family's efforts to bridge race and class barriers that have grown to unprecedented proportions in Michael Bloomberg's New York, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods like the Lower East Side. The story line is deceptively simple. The author and his wife, wealthy professionals living in a penthouse apartment overlooking Tompkins Square Park, decide to take in, and informally adopt five black and latino boys, all of whom live in neighborhood housing projects, who their son Ripton meets in pick up baseball games in the Park. Given the results, that all five boys end up staying of jail , getting GED's and high school diplomas, and attending college or community college, you might think this is a feel good story. But what the Rosens, their two children ( both adopted) and the five boys have to do to get there is so painful, so difficult, and so beyond the range of what most people would be willing to do that it makes the barriers they crossed seem almost unbridgeable. Although the challenge this family took on inspired love and trust and generosity, it also produced levels of conflict and misunderstanding that almost broke every person who participated.Read more ›
First of all, Rosen is not a saint -- he gets angry, makes mistakes, struggles, and gets emotional.But he cares deeply about the bigger boys, who are on the verge of falling into the vicious cycle of poverty, apathy, violence and crime. Some are abused, some are fatherless, some are heavily-impoverished and their emotional traumas are significant. Although their lives are described matter-of-factly in this book, they feel so raw that hurt.
Rosen and his wife try to get the bigger boys through school system to college, which makes all the difference in young men's lives, and of course it is not the easiest task. They yell, argue, nag, curse a lot at each other along the way (vividly written with lots of ghetto words). This book is really gripping, partly because of its brilliant conversational form, but mainly because the characters are living "now" -- since the first time Rosen's own son brought his "friends" from neighbourhood park, nothing is planned, nothing is taken for granted, nothing is predictable -- they struggle together, get over obstacles one by one toward an unlikely goal (colleges) which readers hope to see at the end of this book.
As a single parent of a young boy, I've read many parenting books seeking an answer to my all-time question: "How can I be a good parent?".Read more ›
Rosen is an enchanting writer, with a keen eye, ferocious honesty, and a wonderfully idiosyncratic style. In the process, he forces the reader to think deeply about family, parenting, class divisions, and the commitment required to achieve results in the face of extraordinary obstacles. A fine memoir, one with something for everyone who has ever been a parent, or for that matter a child.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is little I can add to the reviews that have gone before, since I agree with most of what they say. It can't hurt to reiterate that this book is worth reading. Read morePublished on October 18, 2010 by tomyris
Michael Rosen's What Else but Home accomplishes in prose what Jacob Holdt's American Pictures offers through photographs -- an eloquent, insightful, and heart-wrenching portrayal... Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by Reader
This is a wonderful story of a family reaching out to make in difference in the lives of others. It is very touching but poorly written. Read morePublished on April 21, 2010 by konan
I bought this story not knowing exactly what to expect but wanting to read about something other than child abuse and hoplessness. Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by Murleen Goodrich
I haven't written a book report since high school, but I'll say a few words about `What Else But Home' ... I enjoyed it completely ... Read morePublished on February 6, 2010 by Dan Mosheim
"What Else But Home" is one of my three favorite books that I read in 2009; the others are "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese and "The Given Day" by Dennis Lehane. Read morePublished on December 11, 2009 by Jean Marzollo
I saw Michael Rosen on Book TV and had to read this book. I am knocked out by what the Rosens did for these young men. Read morePublished on November 25, 2009 by TX NH fan
Mr. Rosen has taken an interesting subject and written it very poorly. While seeing the changes in these boys is fascinating, and admiring the Rosen family for doing as they have... Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by Ivyreader
WHAT ELSE BUT HOME: SEVEN BOYS AND AN AMERICAN JOURNEY BETWEEN THE PROJECTS AND THE PENTHOUSE tells of a friendship between the author's son and teammates form nearby public and... Read morePublished on November 16, 2009 by Midwest Book Review