Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “At-Risk” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  100 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In Amina Gautier’s Brooklyn, some kids make it and some kids don’t, but not in simple ways or for stereotypical reasons. Gautier’s stories explore the lives of young African Americans who might all be classified as “at-risk,” yet who encounter different opportunities and dangers in their particular neighborhoods and schools and who see life through the lens of different fa ...more
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by University of Georgia Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about At-Risk, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about At-Risk

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 210)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Richard Thomas
Oct 26, 2012 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, At-risk (University of Georgia Press) by Amina Gautier is a heartbreaking, eye opening, and endearing collection of stories that focus on African-American children in turmoil. Fathers leave, or if they stay, fall apart—addictions and failure all around them. Mothers ignore, or distance themselves, pushing their own agendas. Brothers and sisters either die in the street or get out by whatever means is necessary. And somewhere in the shadows ...more
Raul Palma
Jun 02, 2012 Raul Palma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection of short stories. The last time I enjoyed a collection this much was with FLannery O'Connor and Alice Munro.

The narrative voice immediately seduced me. By the end of page two, I found myself longing for Jason's Summers. I wanted to go to that track and watch those girls run around in those short shorts, and bump up against my friends and just chill and not worry about life or anything.

The characters in Gautier's stories are highly developed and coming of age--whether it's
Sep 10, 2012 Ryann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was wonderfully compelling. Amina introduces us to many child characters, all of which are, in one way or another, "At-Risk," a label that is attached to them because of the environment that they live in and/or the adult's expectations of what they might become as they grow up. The irony behind Amina's work is very well crafted. Though the reader fully understands what is going on, Amina presents these stories from the mind of a child that cannot fully grasp the meaning behind what is ...more
Margaret Depaula
Excellent book, struck close to home with me as most of the stories take place in and around the area where I have worked for several years. I feel like I know these kids, that I have worked with many of them over the years and have looked into their lives and the situations that they were forced to deal with on a daily basis. Ms. Gautier captures this in a way that makes us feel that she too has looked into their lives and understands their pain and their triumphs!
Urenna Sander
Sep 23, 2015 Urenna Sander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At-Risk, by Amina Gautier, is not an easy book to read. There are no sugar-coated stories and fantastic endings for these children.
It’s heartbreaking and heart wrenching to read, but you can understand their sullenness, resentment, and arrogance. They have to become, hardened, tough and feisty, living in a world where crime is rampant and might claim them at any time.
Some of these children’s parents’ parents were not equipped to love and nurture their children. How do you expect under-aged moth
Dec 09, 2013 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like story collections that seem of a set--connected by character or place or time or theme. Gautier's collection focuses on youths in Brooklyn, living mostly in single-mother households, and usually on the edge of falling into desperate trouble. In "The Ease of Living" a boy is sent away from his homies to live for the summer with his grandfather in Florida, much to the boy's chagrin. In "Afternoon Tea" a girl is sent to a set of sorority sisters to learn polite culture. In "Pan Is Dead" a de ...more
I heard Amina Gautier read one of her stories at a conference several years ago. I immediately connected with her characters, her style of writing, and her willingness to write about lives that we rarely see up close. I believe that our culture focuses heavily on reading for entertainment. And of course, we should love what we are reading. But just as the people love are human and flawed, and sometimes even maddening, so are stories. We stay with them. We believe in love, and in the beauty of th ...more
May 10, 2014 C.René rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liked this book a lot and it's an excellent choice for a book discussion with teens. The ambiguous endings frustrated me until I realized that my true frustration stems from the no-easy- answer reality portrayed in the stories. A powerful and important read.
May 25, 2016 Nirali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2016
This collection of short stories refuses to be heartbreaking, which is what I love the most about it. Check out my full review here:
Apr 14, 2012 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories are really beautiful, such as "Dance With Me", but a few of the short stories fall flat. Ones like, "Some Other Kind of Happiness" have abrupt endings and over developed character and setting for such a short tale. This could have worked so much better as a novel. The characters in the book could have been a circle of friends and the narrative could have floated from person to person. For now, each story feels like a potential book, that ends when Gautier doesn't know how to continu ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart stories with complicated characters. I flew through this in a day, it was so good.
Gautier is definitely a writer to watch.
Lucretia Moye
Jan 27, 2015 Lucretia Moye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 08, 2012 Andre rated it it was amazing
Most short stories fall into 1 of 2 categories: centered around some monumental moment or lead to some life-altering conclusion. Rare are those which fall into neither. These are the ones I like best. At Risk is a collection of short stories that focus on everyday lives of everyday people. Each story contains a moment or event that has the potential to be life-altering, but the protagonists aren't always ready for it. These stories are about realistic people living realistic lives.
David Hicks
Mar 03, 2014 David Hicks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best story collection I've read in years. Gautier really knows how to write--she shows and doesn't tell, her characters are authentic (and they surprise me in almost every story), and there is as much tension between sentences as there is in the plot. I love this book, and I'm going to use it in my next fiction-writing class so I can show my students how to do it right.
Jun 02, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: go-on-girl-books
Basic situations that outlined an at Risk population of individuals.
Sian Griffiths
Vivid characters facing the difficulties of the world. Moving, lyrical, terrifying, and ultimately up-lifting.
Paul Pedroza
Paul Pedroza rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2016
Sasha marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2016
Amy is currently reading it
Jun 14, 2016
arieswym marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
The Sistahood Book Club
The Sistahood Book Club marked it as to-read
May 28, 2016
Franky marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
Raina marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Tiayra  Tucker
Tiayra Tucker marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Gala rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2016
Alise marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Nicole W
Nicole W marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
Austin Applequist
Austin Applequist rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2016
Hannah marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah
  • Doll Palace
  • Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me: Letters, 1958-1977
  • The Stories of Mary Gordon
  • Sea of Hooks
  • Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy
  • Purgatory: A Bilingual Edition
  • An Adultery
  • Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe
  • You Are Free
  • In The Break: The Aesthetics Of The Black Radical Tradition
  • Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms
  • In the Next Galaxy
  • That This
  • Quiet As They Come
  • Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America
  • Tell Everyone I Said Hi
  • Ponies
Amina Gautier is the author of the short story collections At-Risk, Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award (University of Georgia Press, 2011), and Now We Will Be Happy, Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). She has published over eighty-five short stories. They appear in Agni, Best African American Fiction, Callaloo, Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, ...more
More about Amina Gautier...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“But one place ain't no different from no place else. People try and make it like everything's new only to find the devil done followed you wherever you moved and all you can do is hold him off whiles you catch your breath” 0 likes
“They were both from the real world, their own distinct ones, but I was somewhere in limbo. Set apart, I didn't know how to let either of them in.” 0 likes
More quotes…