Push – Book Review

Clareece Precious Jones is sixteen and pregnant, her first child born out of her father’s sexual abuse and rape. Walking the vicious streets of Harlem is nothing for Precious. Her raging mother doesn’t think that Precious is doing anything but wasting time by trying to get her G.E.D. Even with the ghetto before her and her parent’s abuse festering in her mind and body, Precious is determined to prove everyone wrong.

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Mean Streets and Broken Dreams

With staggering and unashamed honesty, Sapphire brings Precious’ journey to life. Within the first few sentences, an unwavering sense of loss and determination hits with the force of a hurricane. Precious decides that she alone can give her daughter, who has down syndrome, a better life. She’s been held back several grades more times than her mother or father care to count. But all that changes when one of Precious’ teacher makes a home visit and begs for Precious to try an alternative school. For Precious, attending Each One Teach One can be the key to her freedom — but first she will have to push herself to limits she’s never dared to test before.

As Precious navigates her G.E.D. classes and rebels against her new teachers, light begins to shine through the cracks in her spirit. Touched by Ms. Rain’s determination and brazen honesty, Precious decides that the only way she can save herself and her child is to educate her way out of poverty and her mother’s narcissistic grip. But will it be enough? Will Precious let herself learn from the rejected minority students around her?

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Poetry Breaking Free – ABCs

There is no breathing room in Push, which stands as a powerhouse of Black prose at just under 160 pages. Precious may lack a formal education, but her whip-smart eye and love for her daughter can move mountains. Seeing her endure oceans of pain and rise above unspeakable trauma is a balm for the soul. Every syllable and verse that Precious strings together in her poetry crackles and ignites the human spirit. Even something as simple as learning how to correctly spell a basic word is a triumph for Precious. These are staggering struggles that leap off of every single page.

Sapphire has a voice that is all her own. With clarity and grace, she leads us down a path that is both grim and uplifting. For some, Push will trigger the deepest levels of trauma imaginable. Even so, Precious stands tall not as a perfect heroine, but as a young woman who refuses to take no for an answer, not even from herself. This is an essential read, and one that will cling to you long after the last page.

Rating:

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 1/2 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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