This particular book is actually a collection of poems and stories about African American teenage boys in the present day. There are many different stories about the reality of being a black teenage boy today. This reality would include pregnancy, STI's, sex, depression, obesity, drugs, gangs, violence, murder, the list goes on. Sharon Flake does a very well job of portraying the common themes of black boys today and their lives in reality. I would say that this book is a pretty decent read, but a repetitive one. I found all of the stories very interesting and enlightening - but you dont have to read them all to understand the book. Overall, I would reccomend this book to a friend because it is a good book and it is enjoyable to read. But it's not a great read either.