Hold Love Strong
In the vein of Richard Wright’s Native Son , this novel is a wake-up call to America “told exceptionally well in the lyrical first person voice of a sensitive and perceptive youth” ( Booklist ). A spellbinding coming-of-age novel about love, hope, and the will to survive, Hold Love Strong is a revealing look inside the nation’s crumbling housing projects, and a universal story about the incredible capacity of the human spirit..
Author Matthew Aaron Goodman Discusses the Inspiration Behind His Book
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Reading Group Guide
Questions for Discussion
- What is the significance of the title, Hold Love Strong? What scene in the book does it originate from? What do you think its meaning is in the context of the book’s message?
- Abraham claims that “in Ever, we were three things: broken, desperate to leave, or soldiers in a war so impossible to win that everything we did, even blinking our eyes, even licking our lips, might be suicide”. Discuss the following characters in the context of this statement: Abraham, Jelly, Rhonda, Nice and Donnell. Which of the three categories does each character fall into? Do you think it’s possible for them to move from one to another? Why?
- Abraham’s grandmother reasons that, “there were lives…that were simply impossible to live.” Does the life that Abraham begins to want seem impossible? When does he realize that it is possible? What steps does he have to take to make it possible?
- Abraham’s grandmother forbids Abraham