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Book cover of A Hero Ain't Nothin but a Sandwich

A Hero Ain't Nothin but a Sandwich

by Alice Childress

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pages: 128
Paperback
ISBN: 9780698118546






Available to Buy

Overview of A Hero Ain't Nothin but a Sandwich

Benjie can stop using heroin anytime he wants to. He just doesn't want to yet. Why would he want to give up something that makes him feel so good, so relaxed, so tuned-out? As Benjie sees it, there's nothing much to tune in for. School is a waste of time, and home life isn't much better. All Benjie wants is for someone to believe in him, for someone to believe that he's more than a thirteen-year-old junkie. Told from the perspectives of the people in his life-including his mother, stepfather, teachers, drug dealer, and best friend-this powerful story will draw you into Benjie's troubled world and force you to confront the uncertainty of his future.

The life of a thirteen-year-old Harlem youth on his way to becoming a confirmed heroin addict is seen from his viewpoint and from that of several people around him.

Synopsis of A Hero Ain't Nothin but a Sandwich

The life of a thirteen-year-old Harlem youth on his way to becoming a confirmed heroin addict is seen from his viewpoint and from that of several people around him.

Children's Literature

The view of inner city life that emerges in this book is both gripping and depressing. Benjie's drug addiction is described from his own viewpoint and that of others involved in his life. He thinks he can quit anytime he chooses. Benjie comes across as a likeable, although unrealistic, teenager with many people who care about him. His relationship with his stepfather is the most fully developed exploring Benjie's resentments and his stepfather's true concern and willingness to help. His mother and grandmother feel beaten down, not only by Benjie's problems, but also by society. His friend laments his role in getting Benjie started in the drug scene. His teachers offer varying viewpoints. One viewpoint blames society, the other expresses frustration--both wanting to help. The authentic dialects and expressions convey the desperation of inner city life. This reissue of Childress' book describes the heartbreak of drug addiction for everyone involved with the addict. 2000 (orig. 1973), Puffin/Penguin, Ages 10 to 15, $15.95 and $4.99. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer

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Editorials

Children's Literature - Children's Literature

The view of inner city life that emerges in this book is both gripping and depressing. Benjie's drug addiction is described from his own viewpoint and that of others involved in his life. He thinks he can quit anytime he chooses. Benjie comes across as a likeable, although unrealistic, teenager with many people who care about him. His relationship with his stepfather is the most fully developed exploring Benjie's resentments and his stepfather's true concern and willingness to help. His mother and grandmother feel beaten down, not only by Benjie's problems, but also by society. His friend laments his role in getting Benjie started in the drug scene. His teachers offer varying viewpoints. One viewpoint blames society, the other expresses frustration--both wanting to help. The authentic dialects and expressions convey the desperation of inner city life. This reissue of Childress' book describes the heartbreak of drug addiction for everyone involved with the addict. 2000 (orig. 1973), Puffin/Penguin, Ages 10 to 15, $15.95 and $4.99. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer

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