OVERRIDE

Harlem Hustle

Janet McDonald

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Hustle's personal Harlem was sorely in need of a renaissance. For him, it was the place where a scared kid named Eric Samson had been ditched by druggy parents and dismissed by frustrated teachers.
 
Abandoned to the streets to raise himself, Eric Samson knows life won't be easy, beginning with the choices he must make. The fast cash of the streets still tempts him, but the threat of getting locked up - again - is daunting. Maybe Eric's way out is as Harlem Hustle, the rapper he dreams of being. At his side is Manley "Ride" Freeman, surrogate brother and best friend. And Jeannette Simpson, the college-bound "round-the-way" girl he hopes will be more than a friend. But does Eric have the strength to leave the familiar street life behind and the courage to reach for his dream?
 
In her companion to Brother Hood, Janet McDonald once again captures the rhythms of Harlem in this fast, funny story of a restless teenager who uses the power of words to rise above it all.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Harlem Hustle
1IN A BUSTLING MANHATTAN BOUTIQUE, THE GAME OF COPS and robbers was playing itself out with the heart-pounding tension of a bungee jump. Hustle glanced over his shoulder as he walked between racks of warm-up suits. He felt off somehow, unable to tell customers from cops. Everybody seemed to have that Five-O look, the darting eyes, the police academy swagger, the bad vibe.For both the bungee jumper and the shoplifter, once the leap is taken, there's no turning back. The jumper can't defy gravity, and the thief, once spotted, can't elude security. But Hustle was determined to tr
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  • Janet McDonald reads from her book Harlem Hustle

    Listen to Janet McDonald introduce her young adult novel Harlem Hustle and then read an excerpt from the book. Hustle's personal Harlem was sorely in need of a renaissance. For him, it was the place where a scared kid named Eric Samson had been ditched by druggy parents and dismissed by frustrated teachers.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Harlem Hustle

"In this wonderful novel about the hip-hop lifestyle . . .McDonald once again strikes gold.  Young adults will love this book."  --Starred, School Library Journal
 
"A vibrant spectrum of oral expression that brings both Hustle and New York City vividly to life."  --The Horn Book
 
"A gripping tale of the hood."  --Kirkus Reviews
 
"Filled with energy and rhythm.  Hustle's reality, relayed in urban dialect, will appeal to teen readers, including the reluctant."  --Booklist
 
"McDonald's prose incorporates dynamic, realistic, direct dialogue.  Readers will enjoy witnessing the supposedly street-smart Hustle discover how little he really knows about the world and himself."  --VOYA
 
"An inspiring and uplifting, not to mention funny, read."  --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Janet McDonald

  • Janet McDonald (1953-2007) is the author of the adult memoir Project Girl. She is the author of three books set in the Brooklyn projects: Chill Wind, for which she received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; Spellbound, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Twists and Turns, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in Paris, France.
  • Janet McDonald Copyright Gwen Wock
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Harlem Hustle

Janet McDonald

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