Tyrell is a young, African American teen who can't get a break. He's living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father's in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn't feel good enough for her - and seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her. There's another girl at the homeless shelter who is also after him, although the desires there are complicated. Tyrell feels he needs to score some money to make things better. Will he end up following in his father's footsteps?
Read an excerpt here.
Speaking of her critically acclaimed first novel, Tyrell, Coe Booth says "I wanted to give readers a realistic portrayal of what it's like to grow up in hard circumstances, especially when you have only yourself to count on."
Born and raised in the Bronx, Coe Booth has been writing since she was in second grade. "Of course, back then my novels were just loose-leaf paper stapled together," says Coe, "but the stories were mine and I was proud of them." While she was in college, Coe Booth held many jobs, among them teaching creative writing and video production to children and teens. "My favorite job at that time was teaching memoir writing to senior citizens," states Coe. "I loved hearing all about their lives: growing up in the Bronx back in the 30s and 40s, their first loves, and all about how they had to fight to overcome racial discrimination back then. They had real powerful stories to write about."
After she graduated from college, Coe started working with teenagers and families in crisis. "A lot of the teens I worked with were homeless, involved with gangs, or addicted to drugs. Some were victims of child abuse and neglect. It was a tough job, but I was always impressed by the teens' survival skills."
About her latest novel, Kendra, Coe says "I wanted to write about the complicated choices one teenager makes - and the lengths she goes to just to feel wanted."
Coe Booth lives in the Bronx, New York. For more information about her, please visit www.coebooth.com.