If I Grow Up

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About The Book

"WHEN YOU GREW UP IN THE PROJECTS, THERE WERE NO CHOICES. NO GOOD ONES, AT LEAST."

In the Frederick Douglass Project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis.

DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawn's family can barely afford food for the month. How can he stick to his principles when his family is hungry?

In this gritty novel about growing up in the inner city, award-winning author Todd Strasser opens a window into the life of a teenager struggling with right and wrong under the ever-present shadow of gangs.

About The Author
Photo credit: Michael Lavine

Todd Strasser has written many critically acclaimed novels for adults, teenagers, and children, including the award-winning Can’t Get There from HereGive a Boy a GunBoot CampIf I Grow UpFamous, and How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, which became the Fox feature film Drive Me Crazy. Todd lives in a suburb of New York and speaks frequently at schools. Visit him at ToddStrasser.com.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (February 2009)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416925231
  • Grades: 7 and up
  • Ages: 12 - 99
  • Lexile ® 650

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Awards and Honors
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Master List
  • Gateway Readers Award Nominee (MO)
  • North Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominee
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High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Todd Strasser