Native Son by Richard Wright This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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As I dove into Native Son by Richard Wright, I knew immediately that it would be difficult to put down. The author does a fantastic job beginning the book by not explaining who the characters are, but rather telling us about their personalities. Wright also describes how the characters live before we learn their names.

Wright uses great detail. I got the sense that I was actually there, witnessing the events unfold. Because the book is set in the 1930s, I didn't think I would relate to the story as much as I did. By providing us with so many details about Bigger Thomas, the main character, Wright helped me understand the reasons behind most of the events.

The author does a great job making it seem as if the story were actually true. He never leaves a detail untouched. I felt as if I were growing up in Chicago along with Bigger, his family, and his friends. This may be because the author based Bigger on people he knew as a boy.

Through the delicate detail, Wright creates a fascinating and exciting plot filled with surprises and twists that are never expected. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed the book. Only a smart, creative author like Wright could tell a story so compellingly.

The climax is by far the best of any book I have read. Using the segregation laws of the early 1900s was a great way to show the passion and thoughts of the characters.

As I read, I got a good sense of the main character. His thoughts, actions, and dialogue helped me understand not only him but those around him. I liked how the book used the characters' background to help tell the story. For example, Bigger grew up as a poor boy, having to drop out of school in the eighth grade to support his family. This made me feel sympathetic toward him.

Knowing the Thomas family history, I was able to understand most of the plot, but as always, many things humans do cannot be explained. The atrocity that occurs in the book was difficult for me to understand.

With its nail-biting plot, Native Son is one of the best books I have ever read. I can tell that it meant a lot to the ­author and included his own experiences. Although I am itching to tell you the ending, you'll just have to pick up your own copy. Odds are you won't regret it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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