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Apparently Gang Related Paperback – November 9, 2009
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About the Author
Baby boomer Grady Jones Jr. was born in Detroit Michigan in 1953 and is a product of Detroit Public Schools. He developed a love for reading at the feet of his entrepreneurial mother before entering the first grade. While in the second grade, young Grady scored five or six years beyond his grade level in vocabulary and comprehension changing the path of his education. He spent the next five years reading nearly the entire library of Pattengill Elementary School under the watchful and nurturing guidance of school librarian - Mrs. Redd. From there he went on the graduate from the top magnet high school in the city, one that still has a national reputation for excellence. After high school he earned degrees from the Colleges of Education of both Wayne and Michigan State Universities. During the last three decades, Grady Jones, Jr. has enjoyed successful and rewarding experiences as a mathematics and computer science teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, principal, and finally director of one his home district's central departments. He possesses intimate knowledge of life in urban education. Throughout that time period he wrote in fits and starts. The most common scenario was that longer projects started during the leisure times, such as summer break, were left incomplete once school reopened in the fall. His work ethic mandated that providing for his spouse and son trump those expressions of his creative spirit. Recently retired, he now has the freedom to dedicate himself to his first love - writing. His first completed full-length work Apparently Gang Related is the one of, hopefully. many tales he has to share.
Top customer reviews
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The story moves ahead with very few, if any, clues about who murdered a supposedly innocent student, Roderick Davis, who was unexplainably in the school in the middle of the night. In the end, the situation becomes very complicated and a whole criminal empire is exposed.
Apparently Gang Related never slows down the moment the horses are out of their gates. Its characters are well developed and by the end you get the feeling that you have know them sometime, somewhere in your life.
For me, a retired teacher who put in sixteen years in Detroit Public Schools, it was refreshing to read a crime novel set in the system and created by somebody who was a veteran career employee. The book is more than just a crime novel. If you spend just a little time reading between the lines, you can understand how very demanding it is to work in a large, urban high school that has to serve all students regardless of their IQ, race, or criminal record. A good example of this is how Assistant Principal Jamison Brown often arrives as school and is immediately confronted with angry parents coming in to challenge him, lay blame on the school for the problems their children are having, or even provoke fights between students. Another example of the author's knowledge of the inner workings of the machine is his example of how a top-level downtown administrator is using a building principal as a pawn in a game to advance herself up the administrative ladder. An observant reader essentially gets two crime novels for the price of one: the murder of Roderick Davis and who did it and the web of crime and corruption that, at the time, was plaguing an essentially good school system that over previous decades had done an excellent job.
As for the author, I can assure you that he too has a lot of his life exposed in his story. Grady Jones writing a crime novel set in Detroit Public Schools is like reading a non-fiction book about the war in Afghanistan written by a diligent, smart, battle-hardened marine who knew how to fight on, stay alive, and be loyal to his unit.
Long enough to fully develop the plot, short enough to have the reader wanting more. Cannot wait to see what situation Dr. Brown will deal with next.