Precious: Based on the novel Push

By Sapphire

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Vintage Contemporaries, c1996, 1997, 2009

Genres: General fiction, urban lit, street lit

ISBN: 9780307474841

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 177 (180 including Reader’s Guide)

Setting: Harlem, Manhattan, NYC

Time period: 1987 – 1989

Plot summary: Sixteen year old, Precious Jones lives an extremely hard life.  Born and raised in Harlem, she has been raped by her father and abused by her mother in a variety of ways since she was a small child.  She bore her first child at the age of twelve and is pregnant again at the age of sixteen.  She is illiterate, obese, and has no friends or self-esteem.  Her life changes radically for the better when she is expelled from her traditional school and enters a pre-GED program. Continue reading


The Coldest Winter Ever

By Sister Souljah

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Pocket Star Books, 2006, c1999

Genres: Urban lit, street lit

Series: Not at this time, although somewhere in the back of the book Sister Souljah mentions there might be sequel from Porshe’s perspective.

ISBN: 9781416521693

Intended audience: Adults

Number of pages: 534

Setting: Brooklyn and the greater NYC metropolitan area

Time period: late 1990’s

Plot summary: Winter, the daughter of drug king pin, Ricky Santiaga, grew up in the projects of Brooklyn as a ghetto princess.  Winter never had to worry about anything.  While the majority of her neighbors worried about meeting their basic needs and not getting killed, Winter was lavished with gifts from the day she was born.  She also never needed to worry about violence being done to her, for everyone in the community knew that Ricky Santiaga would harm anyone that looks at his family in a way he doesn’t like.  This all changes, however, when Ricky gets busted and sent to jail.  Winter’s innate ruthlessness kicks in and as Winter’s family disintegrates around her, it soon becomes apparent to her that there is little that she can do other than try to save herself.  The only problem is that Winter has no real idea of what this really means. Continue reading