Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sentences: The Life of M.F.Grimm by Percy Carey

It’s the ‘80s and life for many in New York City is very violent and all too short. There are a few ways to make it on the mean streets and the new world of hip hop represents the best and the worst of them: talent, drive, perseverance, violence, and drugs. With incredible candor, Carey’s autobiographical graphic novel details in rich illustration and lyric prose the troubled rise, the epic fall, and the gradual redemption of one of hip hop’s underground stars: his alter-ego, M.F.Grimm. Featuring cameos by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Chuck D., this compelling memoir is an action-packed walk through Hip Hop’s birth and rise and one man’s story of a life-long struggle to tame a wild temper, learn from bad decisions, and make a mother proud.

Sentences is not a pretty tale, though it is a stunning book, dynamically illustrated in black and white. It is the story of a life full of violence and criminal activity and the consequences of these choices are clearly drawn out. This is a book sure to connect with many urban youth looking for a way up and out and a great way to introduce students to biographies. --Regan Schwartz

A note for educators: at times the artistic renderings of previously introduced characters is inconsistent , making it difficult to follow supporting characters whose faces shift from page to page. Teachers and librarians may wish to seize this opportunity to teach students about the challenges inherent in visual literacy.

Carey, Percy. Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm. New York: Vertigo, 2007.

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