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Show and Prove

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
A poignant coming-of-age story about two boys finding their way in the South Bronx in the mid-1980s.

The summer of 1983 was the summer hip-hop proved its staying power. The South Bronx is steeped in Reaganomics, war in the Middle East, and the twin epidemics of crack and AIDS, but Raymond “Smiles” King and Guillermo “Nike” Vega have more immediate concerns.

Smiles was suppo
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Rich in Color
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Review copy: Purchased

Earlier this year Lyn Miller-Lachmann recommended Show and Prove. She spoke so highly of the book, I knew it was a must read. It did not disappoint.

Show and Prove allows readers to experience a summer in The South Bronx through the eyes of two young men learning about who they are and what matters most to them. The voices and personalities are distinct and Quintero’s characters have depth.

Smiles has that nickname because he is generally upbeat. He’s an idea man. Over the ye
If you really really really miss The Get Down (like me) then check this out, since I feel the atmosphere is somewhat similar.
Ms. Yingling
Interesting setting, but more young adult in pacing and introspective quality. Don't think this will work in my middle school library.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very educational book for me, as a 90s/00s child, because there was so much rap/hip hop/break dancing culture involved. I really loved the diversity and pace. The only things that held me back from giving it 5 stars were how similar the two characters' voices were and how unresolved some things felt.
I admit to skimming because I was in a scattered political mindset and the chapters felt long. But! My own readership is not as relevant as the opportunity and access this gem provides to other readers.
Lulu (the library leopard)
3.5 stars. I liked it but sometimes the narrators sounded too similar (which can happen first dual books in first person a lot, I guess.) It did help fill the void The Get Down left and I really liked the final scene with Vanessa at the end.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It is where I grew up and also reminded me of the recent news with the teenager Junior.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I've been on the look-out for good YA books with people of color protagonists and authors, especially ones that deal well with the complexities of race and poverty and language and family like this one does. Recommend.
The South Bronx in 1983 is not the safest place to be in the summer, and as changes occur in the wider world around them, two friends find satisfaction in their jobs and their future ambitions. I liked how the author deftly threaded pieces of popular culture and politics into this very personal story about Raymond (Smiles) King and Guillermo (Nike) Vega. Smiles attends a challenging prep school, and as he is drawn to a community activist group, he questions whether he really belongs there. He al ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13-16 year old
Recommended to Beverly by: we need diverse books/
How quickly we forget significant events that did not directly impact our lives. 1980's South Bronx. Unless you were there, you probably don't remember much from this transformative era. Run DMC, break dancing, Reaganomics, the AIDS crisis, and the introduction of crack are all events that changed life for Guillermo, Raymond, Sara, and Cookie. Yet their teen angst is universal. Told from the points of view of Guillermo and Raymond, this tight-knit group of friends worries about their families, p ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Smiles and Nike are friends from the block. They are spending the summer trading rhymes and acting as counselors at day camp. In alternating chapters they share their stories of old friendships and new alliances, break-ups and new love.
Set in 1983, this summer story is filled with 80s music, TV, and movie references. Although reviews were universally positive, I couldn’t finish it. The pop culture references were distracting, the large number of characters, over reliance on slang and Spanish w
Everett Coonradt
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I honestly thought this book was pretty good, but I did not like the nicknames. I understand that they are in the Hip-Hop era and people have gangster names, but I still didn't love it. The plot was pretty good and I can relate to it because each year I go to the same summer camp for a week. I have always loved stories about summer camp because so many funny, sad, and fun things happen so it was a good thing to be able to relate to. I gave this book 3 stars because I have read much better books ...more
Set in the Bronx of the 1980s at the height of hip-hop and b-boys, Smiles and Nike are teenage boys just trying to survive and get by in the 'hood where crime and crackheads are prevalent. There's not a strong plot; the boys deal with family issues, girl trouble, their changing friendship, dodging the local thugs, and finding their places in the world. The b-boy slang flies fast and furious and the dramas of the 'hood are loud and lively--no upper middle-class hand-wringing here. Teens who prefe ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very accessible main characters in Smiles and Nike. I can see the teens in the juvenile detention center where I teach being able to relate to these characters. The only negative I have with the book is that the setting in the 1980's sometimes felt forced. Then again, it would not hurt my teens to have a mini history lesson hidden in a good story.
Zacarias Rivera, Jr.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's 1983; the South Bronx; hip-hop; a stirring YA novel that focuses on relationships between friends, guys and girls, and family members. I would, without vacillation or hesitation, teach this novel to my high school students. It's copasetic!
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The alternating voices in this book distanced me from the characters. I would have preferred a book solely from the viewpoint of either Smiles or Nike. Both characters had important stories to tell.
I feel like this is something teenage me would have read growing up. I know it's set in the 80s, but it also has that 90s feel. The characters are lively and so are their struggles.
Fiorella Casella
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like it but i feel like it took a bit to get into the real action. More on my blog:
Anthony Otero
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. This made me relive much of my childhood in ways I haven't thought of in a long time. The pacing is great and I loved the different perspectives of Smiles and Nike.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. It completely brought me back to the early 80s. I'll be thinking about Nike, Smiles and Sara for a long time. Highly recommended.
Sarah Hannah
May 28, 2015 added it
Shelves: ya, 2015
Reviewed in the Horn Book.
Kim B.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really glad I went back to this one.
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this, though there is a lot going on.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
3.5. It took me about half the book to really sink into this, but once I did, I was hooked.
Cija Jefferson
rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2018
Sharon Kolling-Perin
rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2015
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2015
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Sofia Quintero is the author of several novels and short stories that cross genres. Born into a working-class Puerto Rican-Dominican family in the Bronx., the self-proclaimed Ivy League homegirl earned a BA in history-sociology from Columbia University in 1990 and her MPA from the university's School of International and Public Affairs in 1992. After years of working on a range of policy issues fr ...more
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“Nike’s the worst counselor in the history of Saint Aloysius, but he’s not Pooh. And as much as Pooh is my least favorite of the homies who come to Q’s storefront, spending time with him there has reminded me that Pooh isn’t just Pooh either.” 0 likes
“The people everyone complains about and no one wants to help.” 0 likes
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