Just Kids

By Patti Smith

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Collins, 2010

Genres: Nonfiction, autobiography, biography, memoir

ISBN: 9780066211312

Audience: Adults

Number of pages: 279

Settings: Mostly New York City – Manhattan & Brooklyn – but also Paris & Charleville, France & Camden, NJ

Time period: The bulk of the story is set between 1969 – 1978.

Description:  Patti Smith describes her life growing up in NJ and aspirations to become an artist.  At a young age she moves to New York City where she meets a kindred soul, Robert Mapplethorpe.  The heart of this book is about their journey together as friends, artists, and lovers.  They support one another and each other’s work until they are both firmly set on their own artistic pathways. Continue reading

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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