Eden's Reviews > Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
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Mar 13, 11

Read in March, 2011

I can't believe it took me eight years to find this book. A writer's highest calling is the tell the stories of others -- fiction or nonfiction -- and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc heroically managed this with her expansive reportage. To commit yourself to a group of people -- any group of people, but especially ones so challenging to know and explain is remarkable. And to process so many stories and perspectives, to give them shape and remain fair and balanced in explaining their stories...it's such an honorable thing to do. At the end of the book, in her author's note, she says:

"M decision to write about Coco's daily struggles baffled her neighbors, family and friends. "Why Coco?" I was asked again and again. "Coco's just regular," People said. "Plenty of girls is worse off." Certainly, I have found this to be true. The hardships of these young people and their families are not unusual in their neighborhoods. Neither are their gifts."

The greatest story tellers have written about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This story is no different, even as similar stories happen every day, all around us.
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