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Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen

Street Pharm

by Allison van Diepen

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1751467,867 (3.92)1



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BLURB: If a brother wanna get ahead, he gotta use every minute to better himself. Everything I did made me better -- tougher, stronger, richer, smarter -- or I didn't do it.
Take high school. A waste of time. Nobody there taught me what I needed to survive on the streets....

Ty Johnson knows survival. Since inheriting his pop's business at sixteen, Ty's developed smarts, skills, and mad discipline. The supply game's in his blood. And life is pretty sweet when you're on top.

But one slip -- or one serious competitor -- and life turns ugly fast. Suddenly, Ty's got to rethink his whole strategy. And for the #1 dealer on the streets, strategy is not just about staying ahead. It's about survival.

RATING: 5 Stars for Street Pharm By: Allison Van Diepen

REVIEW: I picked this book up at my library, because it look interesting, and I really wanted to read it! Now i'm finished! Tyrone Johnson was only a teen that has gone through alot with his business that his dad has built up before he went to jail. Tyrone Johnson is a full time drug dealer, and hustler. He decides to go back to school, and his business on the side. This book was really a pageturner, and I was hooked till it ended! I really enjoyed this book because it had alot of suspense, and mystery to go along with it. This book is based in Brooklyn, New York, and was about the life, and lives of one person. The rest of this book truly unfolds in this wonderful book by Allison Diepen! I would suggest this for anyone that likes mystery, suspense, and young adult books! You can also learn about the different lifestyles of people around you. My favorite character in this book was Ty (Tyrone) because he has been through alot as in helping his friends, keeping up his business, and keeping everyone that is close to him safe! I got to step in his shoes, and see the life from a different persons perspective. This book was definitely a goodread, and you should pick it up soon!
( )
  christopher.kyle1706 | Dec 8, 2016 |
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

Ty Johnson knows how to survive in the real world, to take care of problems on the spot. He has everything in control and knows the way to run things. He's intelligent, patient, and skillful, everything he needs when he inherited his father's business. Everything is running smoothly for Ty and that's the way he wants it.

But then a series of struggles and obstacles ruins the way Ty does things. Not only does he have to take care of a competitor who wants to run him out of business, but he has to deal with school, the only thing his mother wants him to focus on. That could be especially difficult when a girl like none other, Alyse, enters his life and makes him feel happy for once. The hardest part is trying to hide from his mother, and almost everyone new he meets, that he is involved in dealing drugs, the business that Ty's mother hoped to forget after Ty's father went to prison for it.

Ty starts to question every action he does, from the moment he entered the business. With so many problems to handle, can Ty get through it all?

Allison van Diepen takes on a risky plot that so many teens have heard about, but never knew much about, and pulls the reader in. STREET PHARM is a true coming-of-age story that causes the reader to be at the edge of their seat, quickly turning pages, and in the end wanting more. A quick, fast-paced read that is necessary for all teens to read. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Richie's Picks: STREET PHARM by Allison van Diepen, Simon Pulse, July 2006, ISBN: 1-4169-1154-5, Publisher recommendation: 14 years and up

It was an opportunity that few children get to experience these days. In the winter there were dry, brutally cold Saturdays and week-long vacations from school when the ground was rock hard outside. Inside the unheated shell of a house under construction, I'd be able to see my breath throughout the long hours I'd be working to assemble a baseboard heating system or install the bathroom fixtures. During the hot and humid summer days there would also be foundations that required backfilling by hand on the side of the houses that were too close to a property line for the machines to do the work. At such times I became the shoveling machine.

Having that confidence as a twelve or thirteen year old that came from repeatedly and competently doing the skilled work of an adult went a long way toward mitigating the effects of abuse dished out at school by the alpha-delinquents and the hormonally challenged. Having that opportunity to spend long hours working with my parents in their construction business meant having a different kind of quality time and relationship with them, one that had a really deep foundation. When, as a fifteen and sixteen year old, I was growing my hair long, going off to peace rallies, and speaking out forcefully and in public against some of their most deeply held beliefs, I still had a basis on which to see eye to eye with them. My parents would see past all the uncomfortable differences because they recognized how hard I had worked, and continued to work, for the benefit of the family.

Because of my own family history, I have a special affinity with such characters as Paul Edward Logan from Milder Taylor's THE LAND and DJ Schwenk from Catherine Gilbert Murdock's DAIRY QUEEN. While these particular two characters are living a century and a half apart, both have child-parent relationships that are significantly affected by their exceptional abilities and their determination to learn work-related skills from their fathers and do quality work that measures up to that of adults.

Because getting to work on those construction jobs with my father meant so much to me, I am deeply affected by the story of Ty Johnson, a teen who has necessarily become a major Brooklyn drug dealer as a result of being a dutiful son and assuming responsibility for his incarcerated father's illicit business affairs.

"Ask any brother in the Projects who his hero is, and you'll hear the names of basketball and football players.
"My hero was my dad. He was everything a man oughta be: strong, successful, smart. Men wanted to be his friend or they stayed away because they were afraid. Women couldn't get enough of him. He went to parent-teacher conferences just to hit on my teachers.
"Orlando Johnson was raised by his grandma, dirt poor, in Prospect Heights. His mother died of a heart problem just after his brother Jean was born, and his father, well, he didn't know nothing about him, except that his father was better looking than Jean's. Grandma Johnson told him that much. She was a crabby old witch who was only good for one thing: bitching. She was too lazy to get off her saggy ass and get a job, but her nasty mouth wasn't too lazy to tell Orlando and Little Jean how she wished they was never born.
"Orlando never knew a scrap of clothes that wasn't from the Salvation Army or a taste of meat that the butcher wasn't gonna throw out, anyway. Not until he started 'running the trash' for a family of Italian mafioso. Working for a man called Peter Ferrese, Orlando learned all about Brooklyn's underworld. Strip clubs, brothels, weapons, drugs, there was nothing he wasn't into. And when Peter retired from the business, Orlando went out on his own.
"Sure, he got caught. But in his day, he was king. He lived the American Dream. And once he got out, he'd be back on top again, with me by his side."

STREET PHARM is a tense, high-action tale involving a dark and deadly underworld, a father in an Upstate prison, a smooth-talking son with an tenuous position at the top of the heap who begins grappling with what is right and what is wrong, and the bright, determined young woman with a child of her own whom Ty meets at school.

First-time author Allison van Diepen, who has concluded the Brooklyn phase of her teaching career and returned home to Canada, does an excellent job of bringing to life a sympathetic teen character who is caught up in a dangerous and truly despicable lifestyle.

With the experience of having been there with and for my father, Ty's unenviable situation has continued to stick in my mind long after stacking STREET PHARM on the booktalking pile.

Richie Partington
BudNotBuddy@aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 26, 2009 |
This book was really good. It was not my favorite book but it did draw me in and I didnt loose intrest at all. Allison van Diepen is truly an AMAZING author and I HOPE she comes out with more amazing storys like this. If you like this book read snitch by her. It is such a good book and although I enjoyed this book SNITCH is SO much better!!!!!!! ( )
  SamanthaDellea | May 13, 2009 |
This is my SSR book for Q3. ( )
  aaguilar | Apr 27, 2009 |
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Ty Johnson knows survival. Since inheriting his pop's business at sixteen, Ty's developed smarts, skills, and mad discipline. The supply game's in his blood. And life is pretty sweet when you're on top. But one slip - or one serious competitor - and life turns ugly fast -- Suddenly, Ty's got to rethink his whole strategy. And for the #1 dealer on the streets, strategy is not just about staying ahead. It's about survival.… (more)

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