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Street Pharm Paperback – July 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Set in Brooklyn, this urban drama novel depicts Ty Johnson's life as a 17-year-old African-American drug dealer. Taking over his father's territory seemed to be all that to Ty when he was younger, but now he realizes that there is more to life–mainly forming a relationship with Alyse, a single mother and his classmate at the local continuation high school. Struggling to hold onto the pieces of his father's business, he faces competition from out of town and things get serious. Neither Alyse nor his mother knows what sort of work Ty does until he ends up in the hospital after a drive-by shooting. Then the teen leaves school completely and moves out of his mother's apartment. He must decide who he is as his life is threatened and he loses the people closest to him. Easy to read and written in street slang including drug references and profanity, this debut novel will appeal to reluctant readers.–Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-11. While his dad is in prison, Ty Johnson is holding the family business together--the family drug business. A bright teenager, he has already incorporated surefire business principles into his daily life: never lose control; know your enemies; practice patience; and don't have a girlfriend until age 21. His self-discipline, brains, and business acumen are amazing for a 17-year-old, even though they are invested in a drug-hustling deadend. An alternative school and a lovely young mother seed doubts about his chosen profession, but it is a tragedy that finally convinces him to start over. Van Diepen has created a surprisingly hopeful book, one that respectfully acknowledges the intelligence and street smarts necessary for success, whether the challenge is drug dealing or college preparation. She also tacitly addresses the importance of second and third chances in teens' lives. While the resolution is regrettably unrealistic (few individuals as integrated into the drug trade as Ty can manage to escape as completely as he does), the book does offer an optimistic look at a drug-free, crime-free future for at least one young man. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; First Soft Cover Edition edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416911545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416911548
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tina on September 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am adult who enjoys reading good teen lit and this book qualifies. While I did not really care for Ty in the beginning of the book, you can slowly see his progression into "the real world" and it is a joy to go through it with him.

I also liked the honest look at the street life and the fact that the author did not make it sound like a romantic thing.

The writing is good and the storyline goes at a steady stream. I would be interested in reading a second book in this series to find out how Ty and Alyse make on and how Ty deasl with his father.

The only thing that would have made this book better would have been if it had been a true story.

This is an enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm only going to give Street Pharm a 3 star rating because I didn't hate this book. I actually genuinely liked most of the book. But what I didn't like was the ultimate and obvious meaning behind it.

Recently I reviewed a book called Go Ask Alice, which falls into the same theme as this book. Both are about the dangers of drugs. And ultimately that is what holds this back for me.

I loved the writing, and I really enjoyed the characters too. However I thought the book was way too predictable and the themes were far too obvious. The book sends a clear message that getting involved with selling drugs is bad, but if you get lucky and learn from your mistakes; you can change! But I felt like this book was an oversimplification of the subject. Everything about it was basically a stereotype of the hood. I don't profess to know what everything is like in the full blown reality of what they tried to portray here, but I can say that it all seemed a little too fantacized and like the impression someone would have of "Ghetto Life" by watching tv.
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Format: Paperback
Ty Johnson knows how to survive in the real world, to take care of problems on the spot. He has everything in control and knows the way to run things. He's intelligent, patient, and skillful, everything he needs when he inherited his father's business. Everything is running smoothly for Ty and that's the way he wants it.

But then a series of struggles and obstacles ruins the way Ty does things. Not only does he have to take care of a competitor who wants to run him out of business, but he has to deal with school, the only thing his mother wants him to focus on. That could be especially difficult when a girl like none other, Alyse, enters his life and makes him feel happy for once. The hardest part is trying to hide from his mother, and almost everyone new he meets, that he is involved in dealing drugs, the business that Ty's mother hoped to forget after Ty's father went to prison for it.

Ty starts to question every action he does, from the moment he entered the business. With so many problems to handle, can Ty get through it all?

Allison van Diepen takes on a risky plot that so many teens have heard about, but never knew much about, and pulls the reader in. STREET PHARM is a true coming-of-age story that causes the reader to be at the edge of their seat, quickly turning pages, and in the end wanting more. A quick, fast-paced read that is necessary for all teens to read.

Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen
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Format: Paperback
"Street Pharm" is an excellent novel,especially for teenage males.It's

the gritty,powerful story of a young and very successful drug dealer who

decides to change his life.The book is violent and raw,but brilliantly

written with fully developed characters.It is an astonishing debut by

a talented new author.I can't wait to see what she does next!
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Format: Paperback
Street Pharm is a very exciting book that will make you want to keep on reading. It is about a smart, 16 year old boy named Ty Johnson that has love for the streets. Making money is on the top of his mind, and education his last. Ty takes over his father's business after he gets incarcerated. Ty handles this business really good but gets no support from his mom which forces him to attend school. Meanwhile in school, he meets a girl he falls in love with, Alyse, and keeps his drug dealing business a secret because she is against all of that.

As business progresses, another drug dealer from Miami wants to kill Ty and sabotage all that he's built up. But Ty isn't the one that gets killed, its his best friend who winds up dead when a drug deal had gone wrong. His best friends death hit him really hard that he decides to quit the business and pursue and education, as well as his relationship with Alyse. Even though his father is outraged by his decision, he chooses what's best for his future.

I really recommend this book to all teens. This book teaches how life is on the streets and about making right choices.
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Format: Paperback
I think the author tried to write a book about something she barely knows about. I read her bio and she use to teach in an alternative school, but that doesnt mean she can write about characters in a inner city and their struggles. The book was so stereotypical and boring and I am not sure how I finished it. There is the up and coming drug dealer, who is following his fathers step to become one of the biggest drug lords in new york. Then there is the teen mother who is determined to finish school, yawnnnnn.
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