Two words describe this book: gripping and gritty. Donald "Don-Don" Haskill, 17 years old, just likes hanging out with his friends. Life's been difficult for the Haskill family since his father's suicide when Don-Don was 4. With sister Rhonda busy obtaining her degree and their mother working as a Chicago police officer, the family has drifted apart and Don-Don is spending more and more time getting high.

When he meets Juanita on the basketball court, he is also introduced to crack, and his life spirals out of control. The more they smoke, the more they need. Crack is the monkey on Don-Don's back that he'll go to any extreme to feed.

The author shows urban life in Chicago and how much the Haskill family suffers. The story is compelling and impossible to put down, even though readers know things will not turn out well for Don-Don. (Sep., 288 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Robin Taylor