Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Marcus Burke's debut novel Team Seven captures the lives of my students perfectly. I have taught in an urban school with a diverse population and many African American students who struggle to adhere to society's rules.
Andre was a boy I felt for. His story seems so familiar to me. Although there are plenty of stereotypes that exist about African American males that paint an unflattering picture, it is easy to see that Andre is smart. His mother does care. But there are many things that are stacked against him - mostly his environment and the expectations others have of him - and soon Andre has become exactly what people have expected of him.
I know I read this through a teacher's lens, and much of what I read was not new or surprising to me. However, Burke's book should be required reading for college students who could receive a bit of education about urban America and a life that is most likely unfamiliar to them.