Harlem. The late 1940s. Fifteen-year-old Johnny Gibbs loves his parents, respects his teachers, and is a model student. Suddenly, his familiar world falls apart. Johnny learns he is really a foster child who the welfare authorities have decreed now must go and live with another family. Stunned by the revelation, Johnny runs away. The startling events that follow, during Johnny's nightlong confrontation with alienation and loneliness, will inexorably push him past the frontiers of childhood and into an unknown, violent world beyond. Rite of Passage, Richard Wright's never-before-published story of Johnny Gibbs's fall from grace, is as pertinent to the fate of many young people today as it was when it was first conceived nearly fifty years ago.
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Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his books, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. He died in 1960.
David Diaz has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including smoky night by Eve Bunting, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal; The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, which received a Newbery Honor; and Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, a Pura Belpré Honor Award winner. Mr. Diaz lives in Southern California.From Booklist:
Gr. 7-12. A newly discovered novella written by Wright in the 1940s evokes today's urban violence and also the "cold wet shelterless midnight streets" of Dickens' Oliver Twist. Johnny, a gifted 15-year-old student, runs away from his loving Harlem home when he discovers that he's really a foster child and that the faceless city bureaucracy is moving him to a new family. Suddenly alone on the streets, hungry, and lost, he survives with a brutal gang, fights the leader for dominance, and helps mug a man in the park. As the title suggests, this is an archetypal story of the loss of identity and the search for manhood. There's some overwriting at times, with far too many adverbs ("guiltily," "bawlingly," "dreadfully," etc.); a few minor characters are stereotyped; and the symbolism about crossing the barrier of childhood is overexplained. But the story is taut and terrible, and the account of Johnny trapped in a bleak, hostile city will hold teens fast. They'll also recognize the ironic truth of Johnny's friend who envies him the chance to break free of family. Opposed to the corrupt adults (including the police) who pay the kids to steal is the figure of an African American woman who calls out to Johnny in moral outrage for the crime of mugging an innocent person. Real or imaginary, she haunts Johnny. He wishes she would find him and bring him home. The eminent critic Arnold Rampersad, in a long, insightful afterword, shows how this story integrates many themes of Wright's work, including the relationship between racism, poverty, and violent crime. Hazel Rochman
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1994. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP91085408
Book Description HarperCollins, 1994. Book Condition: Good. N/A. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP3086225
Book Description Harpercollins. Library Binding. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2765529775
Book Description HarperCollins, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Tight in binding, small page notation on half-title page. Black remainder mark bottom edge of textblock. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Remainder. Bookseller Inventory # 033551
Book Description Harpercollins, 1994. Library Binding. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0060234202
Book Description HarperCollins, N . Y., 1994. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Cover Art (illustrator). 2nd. X-Library with normal flaws.The hard cover and the jacket has light shelf wear . Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Hard Back. Bookseller Inventory # CC 12697
Book Description Harper Collins 1994/74, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Hardback Fiction 1st. Ed.2nd Printing Ex-Library Very Good/Near Fine Usualmarks; 64175. Bookseller Inventory # 64175
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97800602342014.0