Gangs

Gangs

Written by: Swift, Richard
Series edited by: Springer, Jane
ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up

A Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) Honor Book

Street gangs have exploded worldwide. Tattoos, baggy pants, tagging, gangsta style, the unspoken threat -- it's all just around the corner in most of the world's major cities. From the streets of Los Angeles to the shantytowns of Cape Town, hundreds of thousands of "at risk" youth are deciding whether they should join their local gang.

Violence, guns, the drug trade, racism, poverty, families under pressure and ever-widening slums all provide a witch's brew in which the youth gang tempts young males and females with a sense of identity and belonging that their world has denied them.

Gangs exposes the roots of the problem as it moves from the banlieues of France to the favelas of Brazil. It offers a startling analysis of the complicity of the official adult world and some controversial ideas for reforms that might just undermine the appeal of gang life.

For many of the world's young -- especially those who are poor -- joining a gang is a real career choice. It is a choice that can be as deadly for young gangsters as for their victims. Richard Swift shows us that we fail to understand gangs at our peril.

A Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) Honor Book

Street gangs have exploded worldwide. Tattoos, baggy pants, tagging, gangsta style, the unspoken threat -- it's all just around the corner in most of the world's major cities. From the streets of Los Angeles to the shantytowns of Cape Town, hundreds of thousands of "at risk" youth are deciding whether they should join their local gang.

Violence, guns, the drug trade, racism, poverty, families under pressure and ever-widening slums all provide a witch's brew in which the youth gang tempts young males and females with a sense of identity and belonging that their world has denied them.

Gangs exposes the roots of the problem as it moves from the banlieues of France to the favelas of Brazil. It offers a startling analysis of the complicity of the official adult world and some controversial ideas for reforms that might just undermine the appeal of gang life.

For many of the world's young -- especially those who are poor -- joining a gang is a real career choice. It is a choice that can be as deadly for young gangsters as for their victims. Richard Swift shows us that we fail to understand gangs at our peril.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Mar 5, 2011
Specifications 144 pages | 5 in x 7 in
Supporting Resources
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Excerpt
Written By

Richard Swift is an internationally regarded journalist and a former editor of New Internationalist magazine. He has done stories from many parts of the world on issues as varied as famine and the plight of farmers, slums, the prison system and struggles for national liberation. Swift is author of S.O.S. Alternatives to Capitalism, now in its second edition; The No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy and Trigger Issues: Mosquito, and editor of Ties That Bind: Canada and the Third World. He is on the editorial board of Canadian Dimension magazine. He has also worked as a radio journalist.

Audience ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up
Reading Levels Lexile 1300L

Winner, Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 2012

“...informative and fast-paced...” —Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

“...an accessible, readable, and fascinating book.” —CM Magazine

“With well-documented references, a sharp wit, and a passionate commitment....this will grab teens, and adults, too, with its compelling arguments about why kids join gangs and what happens when greed, poverty, and injustice intersect.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“...riveting...” —School Library Journal

"With well-documented references, a sharp wit, and a passionate commitment....this will grab teens, and adults, too, with its compelling arguments about why kids join gangs and what happens when greed, poverty, and injustice intersect." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

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