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Durango Street

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  277 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
When Rufus Henry gets out of work camp for Grand Theft Auto, he has only one place to go--back to Durango Street. Almost right away, he gets on the wrong side of the Gassers, has to join the rival Moors, and starts running for his life. Years ahead of its time, Durango Street, like The Outsiders, shows that gang violence is, sadly, nothing new--and nothing glamorous. "A st ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Puffin Books (first published 1965)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Before I begin, this is actually the second time constructing this review. After posting, I have no idea why but the original version deleted itself. So yeah... I'm trying though. Here we are folks, ready or not, I finally present you with a review instead of just a rating! (Which is actually a 3.5)

After watching the film Freedom Writers I just had to read the books that had inspired a class full of people with a history of hostility and ignorance to open themselves to hope and a future. So now
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: bonham
1965, durango street...why is it so difficult to learn when a story was 1st published? i looked at the details of this one--saw that it said "published in 1999" and i had one of those doobie-doobie-doo moments, cause i know i read this one when i was in high school...the 70s.

in one sitting.

on a summer afternoon.

nearest i can tell, it was published in 1965..."a book ahead of its time," i thought i read somewhere, and true...

poking around, nothing to do...wasn't that always the case? remember thos
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was a very good book. It is about gangs and how somebody can be pulled into a gang. The book tells about how once someone starts a gang, no matter if you quit the gang life or not, they are always in the gang. It’s about a boy named Rufus. He is in a boy’s boot camp for troubled boys. He gets out and ends up getting jumped by a gang called the Gassers. The question is: will he join a gang again or stay clean from gangs like he is told? I would recommend this book to any high school student, b ...more
Janelly Canales
Jan 30, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: choloss
Recommended to Janelly by: the homie
this book is bombskiess its fuckking downn its reall like yuh can relate to it still down :)
Gabriele Maffoni
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've met this book with mrs Gruwell.
Whatever you think it could happen, think the opposite. It's a book that makes you understand how certain type of people think, how in certain situations you have to deal with your own demons. How you can live a life and try to be honest when nobody is.
Dijonn Salgado
Durango Street by Frank Bonham opened my mind to the seriousness of gangs and the positive choices in life to make. A quote from the book that caught my attention was "A kid joins a gang because he's been thrown out of every school, playground, and club in the city." To me that means something because the sad truth it's all they know is gang banging;therefore other options don't seem available.Because everything else was taken away from them. This book was based on the character Rufus Henry a te ...more
M♥I♥S♥S♥M♥I♥N♥I♥M♥E aNdeRSoN
Durango Street, a novel by Frank Bonham, was a book about a boy named Rufus. Rufus an eleven year boy who had been put into a wilderness camp (for grand theft auto) and was scheduled to be released. He was being released to a small neighborhood in which he knew absolutely nothing about; therefore he was nervous about what was to come. Unfortunately when he was released he immediately joined a street gang (The Moors) and got into a bit of a quarrel with the leader, aka the “King”. This caused ten ...more
Jan 19, 2010 added it
Durango Street is an excellent book because theres always something going on. It starts out as a young boy in gang named Rufus who gets into a lot of trouble and has to move away from everything and had to spend some time in the juvenile center. When he gets out he is moved to Durango Street where it isnt long before he says he needs to join a gang again because people are messing with him that are in a gang. So he ends up joining the Moores which represent his hood in Durango. While hes doing a ...more
Isaiah P
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Durango Street is a very exciting book. It has a lot of action thrills ans suspense, To were you can't put the book down. The author of this book is Frank Bonham.

The main Character in this story is Rufus Henery. He went to jail for being in a gang and he was let out early for good behavior. He was doing well, he went to school and had a job until another gang starts messing with rufus's sister named Anna. The gang was called the Gassers. They would cut some of anna's hair and hit her. Rufus ha
Gabriela Slusher
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book, written by Frank Bonham is about a boy named Rufus who finally comes out of work camp for grand theft auto. Even though, it would be a pleasure for Rufus to stay away from trouble and listen to his parole officer, there is no possible way for him to do that since the only place to go to Is, Durango Street. Ever since, Rufus came out of work camp, a gang back at Durango Street called the Gassers have been chasing him.

Since, Rufus has no other choice; he joins the rival Moors. Now that
Apr 01, 2009 added it
This book is interesting. I think the boy learned his lesson when he got out of jail but when he went to go get milk for his mom and took his little sister he ran in to some trouble. And then he thinks he needs protection so then he goes back to his old ways and joins a gang and pushes a car in to the water and beats people up just b/c they are in the other gang. I learned if your in trouble don’t go to a gang you will just get in more trouble and go back to jail. And if u do the right thing and ...more
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Durango Street is the story of a young Black teen who is trying to decide whether to join a gang and risk going back to Pine Valley Honor Camp. This is a dynamic novel dealing with current problems.

(I read this novel in the 70s when I was taking an adolescent lit. class. The critique came from one I did for the class. Although I haven't read it in many years, it probably is still relevant because of the gangs that we have.)
Doug May
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read in seventh grade. The first book I ever enjoyed to the end. I have to admit I was disappointed at the end when Rufus sort of went along with the social workers. I think I was a fan of his anti-social beavior but that was just the mindset of a seventh grade delinquent. Thankfully, I think I am reformed as Rufus became but probably not without the necessary of strictures of society that keep us all together.
Mark Bratkowski
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I was disappointed with this book. It was mentioned in "The Freedom Writers Diaries" and everyone said such good things about it. It was written in 1965 and the character and language are definitely dated. I think that the author's purpose in writing the book was noble, but the action never builds to a climax. It seemed to unrealistic. I liked the main character, but I thought that he would face dire consequences for his actions and actually there were no consequences.
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book...might be better than The Outsiders. Book talked about how a gang can choose to make positive choices despite having made negative choices before and being surrounded by a negative environment. I wanted to know more about the conflicting emotions that were in the characters, but I definitely got the feeling that students would be able to relate to the characters due to the desire to do one thing yet feel forced to do another.
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
The book is about a boy named Rufus Henry. He gets out of a youth work camp for stealing cars and because he was charged with grand theft auto. When he gets out, he is given a probation officer and is told to stay away from gangs and trouble. His first day out, he gets into a fight with a gang called the gassers because his sister told on them to the police. After the fight, he joins the gassers rival gang, the moors. After that, he gets into a lot of trouble.
Alison Worrell
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-1-12
Rufus is released from work camp, after spending time for grand theft auto. He ends up back on the streets, dealing with the same gang violence that got him locked up in the first place.

I recommend Durango Street for anyone who is interested in The Outsiders> . It has that same feel and similar struggles. It was written about the same time. I liked its fast pace and realism.
Vanessa Marquez
Nov 05, 2009 is currently reading it
Well iam bearly reading
this book is really
qood in the beggininq and is about
how rufus is in work camp to get him
out of gangs, and then how
his mom bought a house in
durango street were a gang called the flats.
Theres a gang after rufus so rufus
thought to join the rival gang so he did...
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't like the book very much because it wasn't very exciting.It would of been a whole lot better if they put more action into it at certain time in the book.It got better in the middle to the end. It was great how he wanted to change his life and he did. Even though it wasn't all that great I still enjoyed reading it.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I first heard of this book in 1968, when I was in 5th grade. I finally got around to reading it, and, although I enjoyed the now-quaint descriptions of L.A. gang life, I was disappointed at the end: I expected more resolution to the plot and more of a moral, especially since this is a kid's book.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was ok

The only reason I read this was because of The Freedom Writers diary. I loved Durango Street until the end. For me it left a lot to be desired. I feel as though it was an unfinished work, that could have gotten a lot more stars from me if it was a more well rounded story. I feel like it had a beginning, middle, but no real end.
Powerful story though. I did like it.
Randolph Camp
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Our class read this book way back when I was in the 7th grade many moons ago. This book taught me about a whole new world. I grew up in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia and the urban and gang lifestyle were truly foreign to me. What I like most about this book is that I was able to identify with some of the characters, even though our surrounding environments were completely different.
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dubsz-shelf
i think this is a nice book because it talks about stuff that happends in these streets.the book is talking about gangs that teens are involved in.
i liked the way the book looked and i like the story i was reading on the back of the book.i hope to finish this book in a good time.
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
It was clean and ok for a jr high reading list, but I found it lacking. At times it was slow and conrived, and I found myself feel sorry for Rufus and the life he seemed stuck in, but even at the end it felt flat. It was ok though...
Xenophon Hendrix
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
A not horrible book I had to read for junior-high English. The novel was the first place I learned about black vs. Hispanic racial animosity, and it had some exciting scenes. It's probably the best book I had to read in the eighth grade.
Francisco Torres
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I really like this book.It has olot of action going on, on this book.If you like books about gangs this is the book for you.I gave this book 3 stars because it has action and alot of fighting in this book.
Dalton Sheridan
It was a good book to start out but as it got closer to the end it continued to get weirder and I lost track of where I was at. Then at the end of the book it kind of cut off in the middle of what I thought would be almost the middle of the book. It didn't have a good ending at all.
Oct 03, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: anyone
its about this guy that gets out of jail and joins another gang and plays football becaause this spy makes him
Sep 01, 2007 rated it liked it
i hope to read this book with my children. its pretty dated, but, i think its interesting enough. i do like the end, which is surprisingly not cheesy, as much of the book sort of tends to be.
Apr 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cristina by: Freedom Writers -the movie-
Shelves: 2007-bookshelf
I read it because it was one of the books, the student in the movie Freedom Writers read and it was a story that touched my heart. It is a genre that I usually do not read.
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Frank Bonham (February 25, 1914 – 1988) was an author of Westerns and young adult novels. Bonham wrote 48 novels, as well as TV scripts. Bonham was born in Los Angeles. He was a UCLA graduate. Bonham was known for his works for young adults written in the 1960s, with tough, realistic urban settings, including The Nitty Gritty and Durango Street, as well as for his westerns. Several of his works ha ...more
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