Archive | April, 2011

Hip-Hop High School

1 Apr

Title: Hip-Hop High School

Author: Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Genre: Urban Fiction

Recommended Age: 15-18

Scale: 7.5/10


This book is a sequel to Sitcomer’s  first book The Hoopster and readers are introduced to Andre’s (the protagonist of The Hoopster) younger sister, Theresa. She’s smart and capable and trying very hard to rise above her current station in life. Theresa is surrounded by different examples of lives to lead. Her brother has shown her that she can do more and go to a terrific University, her best friend seems to have chosen gangs and partying, and Theresa feels very alone and confused. She finds solace in hip-hop music. She also tries to follow in her brother’s footsteps and blend in with the culture that surrounds her. This  juxtaposition causes friction.

Enter Devon. Devon has a tough reputation and an ambition for academic success. He and Theresa work hard on their college applications, determined to leave their current lives behind. Disaster strikes, Devon is shot, and Theresa is left to figure out the next step for both.


I dreaded delving into the world of urban fiction. I had this preconceived notion that these books would be depressing, but I actually found that this was uplifting. I think it’s a beautiful story. Theresa’s path probably reflects that of many young adults. More specifically, I think that students would be able to relate to her struggle of wanting to both achieve and fit in with her peer group. At times I thought that the dialogue sounded stiff and that the author may have gone overboard with the slang, but some readers might enjoy that and think that its authentic. Overall, I thought that this book was worth reading and I will read it again.

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