Tough Boy Sonatas
Tough Boy Sonatas
Tough Boy Sonatas
Floyd Cooper, Curtis Crisler
The darkness--and the goodness--in the lives of the young men of Gary, the armpit-city of Chicago, cries out in this poetry. The Chocolate City. Hell. The Land of Robbing Hoods. Gary, Indiana, has a number of names. It stands as a mother guarding her roach-like inhabitants, their crime, their greed. Has God left this town? Has He left the crumbling church where parishioners pocket donations for hamburgers and candy? Or does He turn the other cheek to pious morality, happy instead to see laughing and card playing and love from His flock on Saturday night? The solitary voice of the city's young men pose these questions in this bittersweet, poetic collection. Both angry poverty and innocent childhood are explored in this YALSA/ALA Best Book for Young Adults by Curtis Crisler with unclothed sincerity.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Poetry

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

In a series of descriptive and vivid poems with gritty illustrations, Tough Boy Sonatas shows childhood life in the ghetto of Gary, Indiana. Each poem tells of an experience, told through the eyes of a child. The Poetry shows everything from childhood games and candy addictions to the hardships of not even being able to afford fruit at times. The dark illustrations emphasize the emotion and add a face to each poem. As more of life in this god-left city is exposed, you truly see the hardships of a culture most have never seen.

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