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You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys Hardcover – February 16, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Ten portraits interspersed with poetry draw readers into the lives of a variety of African-American teens. In "Getting Even," a boy copes with his grandfather's death and the desire to find who killed him. Jeffery, 16, gets thrown out of his Auntie's house with nowhere to go. Eric goes against his dad's command to stay home with his siblings and instead finds a girl, some fun, and some trouble; Justin writes in his journal about death, suicide, and sexual abuse. La'Ron is too afraid to tell his father he is HIV positive, so he writes him a letter, and his father writes back. The concluding story, "Pretty Mothers Are a Problem," is a chilling portrait of 15-year-old Jeffrey, seduced by a neighbor, and the devastation faced by her daughter. These complex and thought-provoking stories won't disappoint.—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Oakland, CA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In a lively companion to Flake’s Who Am I without Him? (2007), teen boys speak in stories and free-verse poems about love, fear, sex, fun, anger, sorrow, and growing up black today. Some of the strongest pieces are about love between sons and father figures, including a stepdad, grandfather, and father-in-law. Homelessness is sometimes a threat, as is the fear of dying young, amid all the violence in the ‘ hood, and one speaker talks about the responsibility he feels to help younger kids get over “getting even.” In contrast, a suburban kid talks about class issues. Occasionally, the entries feel therapeutic, with messages about HIV/AIDS and suicide prevention (hotlines and Web sites are appended). Best of all is the candor about hardship and the celebration of the diversity and dynamics in the characters’ communities.The immediate voices, with no invective or overt sex, are well-suited for readers’ theater and for sharing everywhere. Grades 7-10. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jump At The Sun (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142310014X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423100140
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am on my high school's speech,drama, and debate team, which is how I came to find this book.I compete in Dramatic Interpretation and finding monologues/pieces that are around ten minutes can be tough! I was familiar with Miss. Flake's books and I had previously read BANG (a great book to read if you haven't already). When I came across "You don't even know me" I knew had to get this book. This book has many different characters and stories that really touch on subjects that very few authors write about and write well. Each story is unique in its own way. There was not one story or character that I disliked. You have to approach each story with an open mind and be open to listen to the story being told. This is a great read for young teenagers but adults as well. Even though all of the stories are told from a male prospective that does not mean females should be opposed to reading it. I promise that you won't find any other book written like this. This is a must read. I am honored to say that I used "Infected" (a story in the book about a boy writing a letter to his Uncle informing him that he is HIV positive and the Uncle writes a letter back as well), for my speech competition this year and got 14th in the state of PA and I am my region's National Tournament Qualifier for Dramatic Interpretation. You never know what book may touch your life and guide you to amazing places.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reluctant readers will gravitate toward this read. Cover is inviting and makes young men in particular feel like there's no shame carrying this book. Educators and librarians need to have this in their classrooms and shelves. Excellent resource.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a little disappointing if you were looking for a step up since "Who Am I Without Him" was written. The format with a poem introducing each short story is different as well as the subject of each story. I will not negate the reality that the subject matter (weight, friendship, marriage, gender identification, marriage) of many of the stories is real, the manner in which it was written in this book, was dull.
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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Flake is one of our finest writers and this collection of stories is no exception. There are so many good tales in this book that readers are in for a treat. Every story is a winner and the plus for me is that they are all told from the boy's perspective. Sharon continues to blaze a path worth traveling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our students have a history with Ms Flake's books. I have already had one copy "borrowed" and not returned. I like the idea of writing stories and poems from a teenage boy's perspective. Often they are forgotten or seen as troubled kids. Ms Flake does indeed write about these boys, but she also includes the confused, scared, sensitive, and loving boys that we all know.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought two copies for my neices who are avid readers and they love the stories and poems. That are 10 years old. I wanted to make sure that they are linked to positive messages about youn Black Boys
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book!! The book consist of a lot of short stories, I usually don't like books like that but each one of these stories was so interesting. Sharon flake is a really good writer, I like how she makes each character seem so realistic and completely different even though the book is fiction. My favorite character is Tow-kaye from the short story "scared to death". He's a sixteen year old boy who got has gotten his girlfriend pregnant and now is marrying her, but during the ceremony he realizes he isn't ready to get married. Overall the book was good and I would recommend it to a friend. I will probably be reading more of Sharon g. flakes books
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Format: Kindle Edition
My community association was lucky enough to have copies of this book donated through FirstBook.org and the publisher. I'm delighted to find a book that describes the joys as well as the problems of black teen boys in the city. I hope our kids will like it as much as I did.
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