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Harlem Hustle

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Hustle's personal Harlem was sorely in need of a renaissance. For him, it was the place where a scared kid named Eric Samson had been ditched by druggy parents and dismissed by frustrated teachers.

Abandoned to the streets to raise himself, Eric Samson knows life won't be easy, beginning with the choices he must make. The fast cash of the streets still tempts him, but the
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Izayah Fisher
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book Harlem Hustle was very inspirational. It brought out some troubles that people have to go through. Also the love that comes out and the fact that there's always something to strive for, no matter the situation. Amazing!!!!
Collin Tyson
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald

Personal Response: I very much enjoyed this book. I feel like the characters have very reasonable storylines. I liked the way the author portrayed kids living in the early 2000's Harlem, New York environment- especially ones dreaming of being rappers and not giving school a chance. One thing I really didn't like was how the storyline all tied together. The author kind of jumped around from time period to time period, almost skipping certain details in between that
Jan 19, 2015 added it
Shelves: marcie-marc
This book Harlem hustle is a very good book. It's an inspiring book I feel like I would recommend this book to people chasing after their dream when they start off with nothing. This book was written by Janet McDonald she was born August 10 1953 Brooklyn Ny then died April 1 2007 in Paris France. The book is about a kid name Eric Samson had been qbanned by is parents. His parents abused drugs. Eric dream is to become a famous rapper to get money. He raised himself in the streets. Maybe Eric's wa ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone above 9th gradee
Shelves: book-club
This was a great book for me to read because there are topics that im am intrested in reading abou.The reason why i started reading this book is because the summary on the back got me hook from the get go. The book is about alot difffrent conficts from hustleing,rapping, pickpocketing and much more. Iwould recommend this book to anyone 9th grade and above.Even tho this book is about some crimes that could happen to anyoone its a book that you HAVE to read!
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think this book is interesting and exciting to read. It teaches us what the real world is and what is life like is in the streets. To me it also teaches me why education is important and why you should always do the right thing.
Jada Jones
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is about a 17 year old kid named Ed (Harlem Hustle) living in the projects growing up with no education. He steals and sells things in order to get money. The only thing he has going for him is his rhymes. Harlem Hustle is desprate to become a sucessful rapper.

This book reminds me of all the real poor kids in NY who don't have a good education and have to struggle on the streets all the time. In the book Harlem Hustle has just finished doing time in a prison and is back on the street
Ibrahim Ahmad
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Harlem Hustle by Janet McDonald is a realistic fiction about a teenager named Eric Samson, nicknamed Hustle who had to grew up in the streets by himself because his parents were druggies and he had been dismissed by his teachers.By his side he has his best friend Manley "Ride" Freeman and Jeannette Simpson

There are several different things that I like about the book.The first thing is that I can somewhat relate to the book and to Hustle. The next thing, is that the book has moments in it that I
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Stanley Faucett
Shelves: book-club
Hustle was a thief, and he had stolen a gold chain because he wanted to sell it for more than what it cost so he could get money to pay for a demo. I thought that the book Harlem Hustle was a very good book to read. If you are into gangster talk rapping, then you would like this book. I like the book because I like rap music and there was rap in the book. I thought the book would be a very good book, and it was. My favorite part was when Hustle and his friend Ride arrived at a party, and their n ...more
Like many young aspiring rappers, Hustle dreams of making it big in the music industry. In the meantime, he gets by with his "retail business" (selling stolen clothing). There is a pathos to Hustle's impassioned determination especially when he is unwittingly gamed twice by music execs. But his dicey ways take a turn for the more productive when his girlfriend's mother gives him a book of black poetry and he returns to school at an alternative setting. McDonald is clearly down with the 'hood, au ...more
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book is about a young man from Harlem nick-named Hustle. He stole clothes and sold them for a quick buck. But twards the middle he meets Jeanette. Then his rapping career starts to take off so he stops stealing. I thought the plot was realistic beause there are probably many people in Harlem that steal and rap. But Hustle is different because he became i proffesional rapper. Although the ending wasn't great, overal it's a good book.
Jan 19, 2010 rated it liked it
our newest selection for Reading for Change. I'm only a few chapters in, but I think the group will really like it.
Harlem Hustle is our main character, small time thief trying to avoid more jail time. Abandoned by his parents, he's living with friends in the projects. Just got to the introduction of his love interest, a lovely and talented girl who has a job and is going places. We'll see what everyone thought of it at our first discussion meeting tomorrow.
Aidan Kosciolek
This book was a very good and inspiring book to read. I would recommend this book to any one who is into rapping and hard times for young adults. The deeper meaning of Harlem hustle is when times are tough you can pick your self up and succeed in what you want to do. The element in this book is inspiration. I didn't really enjoy this book fully because of all the bad language inside of it.
Ariana Arevalo-losoya
I very much enjoyed reading this book, the main character "Hustle" is trying to pursue his career in music while leaving behind his rought past. His 'side-kick' and close friend "Ride" is loyaly by his side the entire way. Hustle overcomes issues with getting a record deal, going back to school after dropping out, and connecting with his love interest Jeanette.
Aug 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: middle/younger high school teachers
17 year old “Hustle” is a career shoplifter and an aspiring rapper. However, a shady record executive makes his dreams difficult to attain. Luckily, he is convinced that school is something that is worthwhile for him.

Pretty entertaining but it's very predictable.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
A lot of people dream of making it big in the music business, but only a few of them actually do. This book suggests that it’s great to pursue that dream, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can find satisfaction and success without becoming a huge star.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to James by: My teacher
I learned from this book that trying to be a gangster is not good. The main character Hustle realized himself after he had some incidents. Another thing i learned was if u want something never stop giving up on it, just keep trying.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
A lot of people dream of making it big in the music business, but only a few of them actually do. This book suggests that it’s great to pursue that dream, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can find satisfaction and success without becoming a huge star.
Claudia Danielle
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
i love this book i just started reading the book today at the library and i just had to go back and get it.I love how interesting it is i lover how she tells us about how he struggles in the street and how he meet this really nice girl.etc.
Johnny Duenas
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Harlem Hustle is a very underrated book about a young street hustler trying to make it through the difficult obstacles of a place with high-level of criminal actions and lots of people are influenced by the same exact people with more money that are also known as: rappers.
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kajaun Sears
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like the book it was great in till the very end of the book the I didn't like the ending because I could quest the ending.
Phil Overeem
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
My student book group and I enjoyed this book, especially for its kid-friendly look at the rap music industry, but sometimes found the writing too inauthentic and unnecessarily fussy.
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teens
This book uses a character from McDonald's earlier book entitled, "Brother Hood." I liked this one because it has an urban setting and some gritty characters but it has an upbeat ending
David Ramirez
Dec 03, 2010 rated it liked it
This book could have been better ,but it was interesting because its about some boy coming from the hood and going through many things .
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Feb 25, 2016
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Feb 07, 2009
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Sep 26, 2008
Taylor Woods
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Nov 05, 2013
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Janet McDonald was an American writer of young adult novels as well as the author of 'Project Girl', a memoir about her early life in the Brooklyn projects and struggle to achieve an Ivy League education. Her best known children's book is Spellbound, which tells the story of a teenaged mother who wins a spelling competition and a college scholarship. The book was named as the American Library Asso ...more
More about Janet McDonald

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