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At Risk
May 2014
Genre: Short Story Collection (same author)
Book Description:

Upon first glance, there was nothing particularly catching in this book's description or title.  I downloaded it to my Kindle because it was a collection of short stories.  Finding short stories that GOGs would want to read has become increasingly difficult so I check out ANYTHING in this genre that's written by an author of the Black diaspora.  But I didn't have high hopes about this book. I couldn't have been more wrong.  This book turned out to be a hidden jewel.  As soon as I started reading, I knew I wanted GOGs to read this book.  Ms. Gautier has written these stories from the perspective of young people who struggle to understand what's going on in their lives.  Some stories center around a monumental moment -- a boy trying to come to terms with the senseless murder of friends, a girl who skips an important event because her mother has chosen an escort she doesn't like.  Other stories describe teens unable to grasp the meaning behind what is happening to the adults in their life while still being very much affected by decisions and choices these adults make.

Each story is written through the eyes of the teen.  That's what I liked best about this book.  Her writing is simple, solid, beautiful, and lyrical.  The stories explore the lives of young African Americans who encounter different opportunities and dangers in their particular neighborhoods and schools, who see life through the lens of different family experiences.  She focuses on the lives of these teens -- on people they love, including their grandmothers, brothers, boyfriends, and friends?even those whose friendship might destroy them.

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