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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Street Lit: Rooftop by Paul Volponi

Volponi, P. (2006). Rooftop. Viking Penguin Group: New York.
Awards:  American Library Association’s Best Book Young Adult and Quick Pick Award
                 Texas Library Association for the TAYSHAS High School reading list
                 New York City Library’s Book for the Teen Age
                 Junior Library Guild 2006 Selection

Annotation:  This Street Lit coming of age novel depicts two cousins, Clay and Addison, who meet up again after being separated as children, in a drug treatment facility called Daytop. Both boys struggle with living life in the projects of New York City battling addiction and dealing drugs.
What really happened on the Rooftop? Clay was trying to go straight and get his GED and make something out of his life and Daytop was helping him achieve his goal. His cousin Addison shows up to Daytop for dealing drugs. Addison was having trouble getting out of the drug dealing and gets jumped by a couple of other dealers. He has to pay his boss back for what he lost or he will be in more trouble.

    There were footsteps coming up the stairs, and Addison crouched down by the door. When they stopped, Addison jumped up with the wallet pointing out in front of him and yelled, “Bam! Ba--“
    Lightning bolts shot out of that doorway, and they didn’t stop till the air all around us was on fire.
    I heard the breath leave Addison’s lungs, like he’d been slammed in the chest by a subway train.
    A bullet ripped past by face.
    I jerked in two directions at once, diving to the floor. My arms crisscrossed by head, and my chin was jammed up against by knees.
   “Police! Police! Voices barked, one over the other.
    A voice I’d heard before hollered at us to stay down and drop our weapons.
    My whole body was shaking, and everything inside me went numb.

Addison is shot and killed on the rooftop by the police for no reason. Clay struggles with telling the truth or live a lie in the request for justice and end to racism. What really happen on that RoofTop?
Jacket photographs copyright Sami Sarkis/Getty Images and Mark Cooper, 2006
Jacket design by Nancy Brennan