Friday, October 1, 2010

Guest Blog Post: Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada and Jamar Nicholas

What if one day your rules of survival didn’t protect you anymore? In this graphic novel, Geoffrey Canada describes the violent code of conduct he learned growing up in the South Bronx in the 1960s. Kids fought with fists and, in more extreme circumstances, sticks or knives. Once you proved you had “heart,” you were left alone. This changes, however, when guns start to become more common. How do you follow a formalized code in the face of sudden, senseless violence? Jamar Nicholas' cartoonish but gritty drawings are accessible and perfectly match the content. An afterward by Canada gives some information about his organization The Harlem Children’s Zone. A provocative and quick read, this would make great discussion fodder! -- Lisa Goldstein

--Lisa Goldstein is a Neighborhood Library Supervisor for Brooklyn Public Library and has been conducting outreach to Crossroads Juvenile Center since 2007.

Canada, Geoffrey (author) and Jamar Nicholas (illustrator). Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence. New York: Beacon Press, 2010.

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