Understanding Issues - Gangs

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9780737705522: Understanding Issues - Gangs

Teens and younger children are looking for a place to belong and where they can feel needed--and in increasing numbers, they turn to gangs. Gang violence, joining a gang, and the ways communities are fighting back are issues that are explored here.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8. Stewart reports on gang activity, past and present. She places the causes of this growing societal problem in displacement resulting from immigration, the deterioration of the traditional family unit, ethnic-group rivalries, discrimination, poverty, and the drug epidemic. The organization, dynamics, and identifying characteristics of gangs, as well as the need for belonging and self-esteem supplied by membership are discussed. Four gang members, three teenage males and a 20-year-old female, are profiled. The author treats her interviewees with respect and empathy, but makes clear that these young people have led lives marked by "poor choices, shortsighted thinking, and self-gratification." No attempt is made to minimize the violence in which they have participated. The interviews reveal a casual attitude toward violence and to the possession of deadly weapons. That all of the subjects have been at risk of injury, that one was blinded, that they have lost close friends and relatives to gang warfare seem accepted aspects of these young people's lives. The writing style is concise and hard-hitting. Black-and-white photos, with two of the subjects not fully revealed, are compelling additions to the highly informative text. This title alludes to the existence of suburban gangs, which is the theme of Dan Korem's Suburban Gangs (International Focus, 1995).?Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"This offering will be useful to collections needing material on the topic."
-- School Library Journal (September 2002) (School Library Journal 20020901)

"Source notes, a glossary, and a briefly annotated bibliography complete a succinct, balanced presentation that can serve as a good starting point for both research and discussion."
-- Booklist (June 2002) (Booklist 20020615)

"Facts, statistics, and other information are interwoven with personal examples in a way that lets readers associate the material with their own circumsances."
-- The Book Report (March-April 2002) (Book Report 20020401)

"The book's strength lies in helping youth understand and examine their choices as they face the realities of everyday life. Teachers, counselors, and parents will find the series helpful in opening dialogues and discussions on these difficult topics."
-- The Book Report (March-April 2002) (Book Report 20020401)

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