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"Tyrell" by Coe Booth

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

TITLE: Tyrell

AUTHOR: Coe Booth

PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press

PUBLISHED DATE: October 2, 2006

ISBN: 9780439838795

PAGES: 320

This was a thoroughly engrossing read. I listened to the audiobook which was fantastic. I highly recommend it. Barrie Buckner narrates the audiobook and his performance is truly riveting. This was a straight through listen for me. I felt like the character was talking directly to me. This story gutted me. I think I'm obsessed with Coe Booth now, and I need to read everything she writes.

Tyrell is 15 years old and homeless. His father is locked up, his mother refuses to work and take care of the family, and with the weight of not being able to provide for his family, Tyrell drops out of school and tries to put together an epic party to get his family out of an unsavory apartment used to house homeless families.

The story is told as a first person narrative, and Tyrell's voice is direct and so authentic. He is a layered character - he is flawed, and real, and a very likeable protagonist that you'll root for even when you cringe. Tyrell's mother is clearly a villain in the story, and there is almost nothing redeeming about her. We do gain some insight as to why she is such a negligent mother. Booth puts the reader in the mind and heart of Tyrell, and he truly is an unforgettable character in such a realistically portrayed dire circumstance.

Themes of poverty, homelessless, social services, child neglect, teen sexuality, drug and alcohol abuse, and the resilience of the human spirit are all at work here, and written with accuracy and truth. This book pulls on all of the emotions.

Recommendation: Read it!!!

Audience: Young Adults and Up

*I purchased this audibook on Audible.

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