Anger Is a Gift
Anger Is a Gift

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Annotation: Reflects the racial and economic struggles of today's teens in the story of high school junior Moss, who in the face of a racist school administration decides to organize a protest that escalates into violence.
Catalog Number: #182055
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 463 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-16702-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4391-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-16702-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4391-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017278555
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Students are injured by police--and African American protagonist Moss's boyfriend is killed--in a series of escalating altercations in California's West Oakland High School. Moss, who suffers panic attacks due to his father's earlier murder by police, finds the courage to fight back. A large, diverse cast of characters and many plot threads shed light on issues related to police brutality from multiple angles, and the climax is compelling.
Publishers Weekly
Oshiro, creator of the Mark Does Stuff website, takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster in this powerful and timely debut novel that conveys a community-s bitter experience living within a culture of white supremacy. Sixteen-year-old Moss Jeffries, a gay African-American student attending run-down West Oakland High School, has experienced panic attacks since police shot his father six years earlier. A warm, mutually respectful relationship with his mother, an extended network of friends of diverse genders, sexual orientations, and family makeup, and a budding romance with Javier, a cute Latino comic book artist, all indicate a hopeful future. Yet violent incidents continue to threaten the community-s well-being. In one improbable event that affects the story-s plausibility, a boy with metal pins in his knee suffers a severe injury as a result of being forced to walk through a school metal detector. This event and several police assaults on students lead to organizing, with the community-s fear building to a crescendo in a planned walkout gone awry. Oshiro deftly captures the simmering rage that ultimately transforms Moss from a quiet teenager to a committed activist against a brutal, menacing system. Ages 14-18. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (May)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Rooted in the working-class neighborhoods of Oakland, California, this is a tale of youth of color, diverse in sexuality and gender, organizing to challenge state-sanctioned violence.Black teenager Moss Jeffries is still grieving from the loss six years earlier of his father by the trigger finger of a police officer. Moss struggles with self-doubt and anxiety-induced panic attacks, finding comfort in his emerging relationship with Javier, a Latinx boy who's just as tender as he is bold. As the school year begins, the school resource officer assaults Moss' friend Shawna, claiming to suspect drugs—but the young people know that it's really about her decision to fully embrace her black trans identity. When the administration installs metal detectors, resulting in a tragic injury for their friend in a wheelchair, Moss and his circle organize to dismantle the system of violence at their school, beginning with a wildcat student walkout. They demonstrate that there will continue to be resistance wherein aggrieved communities gather in solidarity to build meaningful lives of collective joy, heartful struggle, and deep love. Moss' mother, Wanda, offers, "Anger is a gift. Remember that….You gotta grasp on to it, hold it tight and use it as ammunition. You use that anger to get things done instead of just stewing in it."A masterful debut rich with intersectional nuance and grass-roots clarity, Anger is a Gift is hella precious, hella dope. (Fiction. 14-adult)
Word Count: 118,283
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 18.0 / quiz: 500270 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: HL710L

This debut novel from popular Hugo Award-nominated social media personality and critic Oshiro presents a story about the struggles of today's teens finding power to overcome racial and economic obstacles.

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