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From a troubled youth navigating the mean streets of the South Bronx to an inspiring educational activist who evokes praise from the likes of President Barack Obama, Geoffrey Canada has made a remarkable personal journey that cemented his dedication to underserved youth. His award-winning work was featured in Davis Guggenheim’s documentary Waiting for “Superman,” and he has been hailed by media, activists, teachers, and national leaders. Michelle Obama called him “one of my heroes,” and Oprah Winfrey refers to him as “an angel from God.” Here, Canada draws on his years of work with inner-city youth and on his own turbulent boyhood to offer a moving and revelatory look at the little-understood emotional lives of boys. And who better for this task than the man Elizabeth Mehren of the Los Angeles Times calls “one of this country’s leading advocates for youth.”
“I wish every city had a Geoffrey Canada” –President Bill Clinton
“Canada has never lost touch with the child within himself or the fears of the children around him struggling to reach adulthood in the violent streets of America.”–Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund
“Here is the role model, the griot, the nurturer, the brother who never left the ‘hood because he keeps looking into the faces of the children and seeing himself there.”–Patricia Smith, Boston Globe
“The Harlem Children’s Zone (is) an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance. . . . The first part of my plan to combat urban poverty will be to replicate the Harlem Children's Zone in twenty cities across the country.” –President-elect Barack Obama, July 18, 2007
“A beautiful story, simply told . . . [by] one of the best friends children have, or ever will have, in our nation.” –Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace
“In this powerful new book, Geoffrey Canada explores the dangerous terrain in which today’s adolescent boys mature . . . [and] shows how the combination of age-old urges and new cultural forces and mores create a volatile world for America’s young men.” –The Reader’s Edge
“With vivid stories from his own childhood and from the boys he works with now, [Canada] provides a powerful account of what life is like for men and boys in urban America today.” –Robin Browley, Creative Classroom
“[Canada] offers a smart, street-level picture of what’s bad about an inner-city boyhood and, more impressively, also gives us some sound advice about the hard work necessary to remedy it.” –Publishers Weekly
“Canada has emerged as one of this country’s leading advocates for urban youth.” –Elizabeth Mehren, Los Angeles Times