Fourteen-year-old Shawn has a summer of decisions ahead of him. They're decisions about who he is going to be, where he is going to go to high school, and what he thinks of the community he lives in. Shawn lives in Compton, California, and when he and his friends head up to the basketball court, they have to do the color check. That is, they have to make sure they aren't wearing the colors that will draw the notice of rival gangs and put them at risk. Shawn lives in a world of patchwork squares where some blocks have friendly faces and warm, responsible adults and some patches hold oppression and random violence. In his own private world, Shawn is watching the beautiful Marisol and suffering the taunts of his friends. Spending time with his father teaches him some lessons about girls and about his own confidence. Spending time with his mother gives him boundaries and books. Spending time with his friends helps him sort out who he is in relation to the other kids his own age. Powerfully written with a voice true to the fourteen-year-old male. Great for reluctant readers, looking for a friend on the pathway through teen feelings. Ages 13 and up 384 pages

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