- Series: Fist Stick Knife Gun
- Paperback: 124 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press; Revised edition (September 14, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807044490
- ISBN-13: 978-0807044490
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 142 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence Paperback – September 14, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Canada, a legendary educator and crusader for inner-city-youth, first published in 1995 his revelatory account of the daunting push toward violent behavior that was a part of his Bronx childhood. This graphic adaptation by Nicholas works as a kind of youth-friendly summary of that book's conclusions. Canada's thoughtful, no-nonsense narrative begins in the Bronx in the late 1950s, after his father left him, his mother, and two brothers to fend for themselves. The spine of the story is not so much the broad array of violence on display in a neighborhood suffering from postwar white flight and increases in crime, but Canada's surgical analysis of the stages of violence and the strictly codified strata that reigned on his street and in his school. Helped by Nicholas's dramatic but low-key illustrations, Canada describes how he graduated from one level of violence to the next in a sort of ladder of self-protection. This inexorable evolution is dismaying enough before Canada moves ahead to show how those codes of violence eventually collapsed under an influx of guns. This is exactly the sort of broadly appealing and gripping nonfiction graphic novel that librarians need to be adding to their shelves. (Oct.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A comic adaptation of Canada's 1995 memoir illustrates 10 situations from his childhood and teen years on the streets of the South Bronx. Based on the author's personal experiences, this study of the cycle of violence explores the destructive power of escalating hostilities on individuals and communities. Nicholas's drawings effectively accentuate facial expressions and emotions.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Geoffrey Canada is the man behind the Harlem Project. His mind, his drive, his desire to help children, parents and the community made the Harlem project a reality. And Geoffrey Canada knows his audience; he lived in abject poverty, the son of a single mom in a neighborhood where value was assigned based on how well you fought.
Geoffrey Canada's approach points the way to saving all the children who live in neighborhoods owned and operated by drug dealers, drug users, robbers, muggers, burglars and rapists -- killers of every description. My take on his core thesis is you cannot change children who live in these communities just by working inside the 4 walls of a school; you MUST change the community, reach out to the parents, help them where they are so they can reach out and change their own worlds, one step at a time, one day at a time.
Though the artwork is rather straight forward and simple, I can't imagine any other style more befitting. Canada's story is inspiring, brutal, and eye-opening. For some, this book offers a glimpse into a world unknown but no less important. For others, they will see a kindred spirit who made it out alive and is now helping others.
I truly recommend this work for all readers of all abilities.
~Scott William Foley, author of Andropia
I disagree on several points with the author politically, but I can not argue with his experience, which I find drives most of the value in this book. It's his story, and told through his eyes, there is a growing problem with inner city violence. The author successfully pulls you into his world and you begin to get a real sense of a little piece of daily life of a young man growing up in a poor neighborhood. The narrative is well written, but don't expect any answers inside these pages. That's not the intent of the book. Instead you can expect to glean an additional perspective in a much larger issue, and on this point, it delivers.