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Growing up on the rough streets of Newark, New Jersey, Rameck, George,and Sampson could easily have followed their childhood friends into drug dealing, gangs, and prison. But when a presentation at their school made the three boys aware of the opportunities available to them in the medical and dental professions, they made a pact among themselves that they would become doctors. It took a lot of determination—and a lot of support from one another—but despite all the hardships along the way, the three succeeded. Retold with the help of an award-winning author, this younger adaptation of the adult hit novelThe Pact is a hard-hitting, powerful, and inspirational book that will speak to young readers everywhere.
We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success
By Sampson Davis (Author), George Jenkins Author), Rameck Hunt (Author), Sharon Draper (Author)
Paperback: 194 pages
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
"What started out as three boys skipping class turned out to be the most significant experience of our lives," says George Jenkins, who, together with Sampson Davis and Rameck Hunt, made a teenage pact to leave their impoverished New Jersey neighborhood, attend medical school, and become doctors. Author Sharon Draper helped shape chapters, written in the third person, describing each doctor's challenging childhood experiences, including a parent's drug addiction, forays into crime, and succeeding in an environment that made "failing equal to being cool." Following each story, passages written in the doctors' own words offer advice and strategies, and acknowledge the help received along the way. This information is directed straight to young people growing up in similar circumstances, but all readers will be riveted by the profoundly inspirational stories and personal, intimate voices that frankly discuss big mistakes and complicated emotions, including "survivor guilt" for choosing a different path from friends and family. Strong readers may want to follow this with the doctors' first book, for adults, entitled The Pact (2002).Gillian Engberg (Booklist)
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