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A Stone of Hope

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  27 reviews
In the tradition of The Other Wes Moore and Just Mercy, a searing memoir and clarion call to save our at-risk youth by a young black man who himself was a lost cause—until he landed in a rehabilitation program that saved his life and gave him purpose.

Born into abject poverty in Haiti, young Jim St. Germain moved to Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, into an overcrowded apartment wi
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Harper
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  140 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Winter Sophia Rose
Emotional, Inspiring & Unforgettable! A Remarkable Read! I Loved It!
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Truly Transformative Experience

That Jim St. Germain lived through his childhood is remarkable. That he emerged from it with the grace, dedication, desire, and tenacity to make a difference to children of color living in poverty and hopelessness is nothing short of a miracle. As St. Germain makes abundantly clear, he did not get where he is today without substantial assistance. But in the end, he is the teen who decided to take advantage of the unlikely opportunities - which many teens would no
Ember  Greene
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although arguably badly titled, A Stone of Hope is more than just a coming-of-age story. This inspiring memoir reads like fiction and is packed with gut-wrenching stories that remain unforgettable. St. Germain’s story is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s understanding of a black teenage boy’s world perspective in Between the World and Me meets Dave Peltzer’s foster home system struggles in his second book, The Lost Boy. We’ve heard of stories like this before and yet this story remains different from the rest. ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, ya
The author came to NYC from Haiti as a child to live in a small apt with many relatives who did not pay much attention to him. By age 14, he was involved in street drug dealing and entered the justice system. He was fortunate to be sent to a small group home, Boys Town, where he began to learn how to control his temper. Many mentors are given credit in the book for helping him to create a successful life. His honesty about his teen problems is moving and shows how difficult it is to grow up in ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, one might question why “A Stone of Hope” by Jim St. Germain resonated with me the way it did. After all, I am a white woman with blue eyes and blond hair who grew up in the most suburban, and arguably one of the safest, corners of Queens in NYC. (Any real NYer knows Queens and Brooklyn have “a thing”.) But to think I couldn’t relate or understand would be misguided.

You see - I know Jim St. Germain very well. Not the man personally, no. But many just like him. Who have walked in
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This was a moving and inspirational book, but it did leave me wondering whether Jim is the rule or the exception. There really was no mention of how any of the other boys turned out. While I realize this is his own memoir, the fact that he talks about his advocacy efforts and wanting more kids to go the route that he did seems like there should have been something about other success stories.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway
5 stars ✨ plus for Jim St. Germain!
I'm white and fully aware that I grew up under the blanket of white privilege. I want and need to understand what is going on in the world around me. When I was younger, I couldn't understand why everyone wasn't equal. Laws had been passed, what is the problem? With age and understanding the racism deeply imbedded in this country, I now understand.
This book helps to point out the huge flaws in the United States. It is time to change the way people are dealt
Emmett Racecar
You are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but honestly, this book’s packaging and the title does not do it justice. It is a remarkable story. It is a coming of age story of a young Haiti immigrant who ends up in the foster system. He was arrested, sold drugs, lived in poverty and existed in a system that appeared to want him to fail. It would be a great book to create a dialogue in the classroom about racial privilege, youth rights, and the US criminal system.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This brought up some pretty intense feelings of guilt from my time teaching about the kids I didn’t even scratch the surface for. I would like to use this next summer with my students who now have kids and grandkids in the system.
Kelly Hager
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jim and his family left Haiti and moved to Brooklyn when he was a child. By the time he was a teenager, he was dealing drugs and had already been arrested multiple times. Before he could legally drive, he had been convicted of a felony. Generally speaking, we know how this story ends: life in prison or dead at a young age, right?

But instead, Jim was put in Boys Town (a group home that works as rehab, almost) and surrounded by people who expected him to succeed, get his GED and go to college. And
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a gift, and I had it on my "to read" pile for quite a few months because I thought it would be difficult to get through. It's the story of an immigrant boy from Haiti who moves to NYC with his father to live in a different kind of poverty. No surprise, it doesn't go well for a good part of the story. And when it does go well (or better) it's certainly not easy. But the book is written beautifully and is surprisingly easy to read, considering its subject matter. The tough parts are ...more
Dixie Keyes
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jim St Germain's story is certainly one to be shared. Rich in its authenticity and honest from a voice of experience, anyone who reads it will gain a deeper understanding of the juvenile justice system and how it can affect the lives of young people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. He doesn't hold back. What I most respect is how there were no miracles in his story--he shares the many times he doubted those who wanted to help him and the mistakes he continued to make when the way ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“They cripple the bird’s wings, then they condemn it for not flying as fast” –Malcolm X in A Stone of Hope, p. 187.

Jim St. Germain is the embodiment of resilience. After moving to Crown Heights from Haiti as a young boy, Jim becomes the product America’s racist and economically unequal environment. His life becomes a constant struggle for survival in a world defined by poverty, violence, and lack of opportunities. With the support of loving and determined human beings, Jim slowly starts to disco
Denise Relf
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written book by an amazingly powerful man. I was one of the first staff members in the Close To Home Initiative and was ever changed by those young people. Reading this book should show everyone that what may look like a stoned hardened kid is really an overlooked and under developed mass of greatness waiting for some curious and caring person to come along. Jim's story is sadly a common one for many youth of color living in NYC (not all need to be locked up to have their freedoms re ...more
Marisa Gonzalez
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Memoir of Jim St Germain, an advocate for rights within the juvenile justice system. He tells of his life emigrating to the US from Haiti, living in poverty in Brooklyn, being incarcerated as a minor and becoming a member of Boys Town which changed his life. This book was just alright. While I did enjoy reading about the positive influence which Boys Town provided for him, I also found the writing to be very generic. It had the feeling of being written by an outsider looking in, was very cliched ...more
vontell dozier
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beyond moving, thought provoking and humbling. I loved how he started every chapter with a quote from a someone he would have never heard of had he continued on a path of destruction. At time I had to put it down to absorb it , wipe a tear, and let a smile form on my face. You won't be disappointed. Get this book and read it and share it with others outside of your circle of friends .
Krista Stevens
Gripping memoir of what it was like for one boy who was lost in a dysfunctional family and to the streets in Brooklyn and drugs and, miraculously, made it out. The struggles are real. He reminds me of many of my students. Interesting intervention with Boys Town rules. Would be a *** book - maybe for seniors.
Bakar Ali
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written and inspiring book! Jim Germain shares his experiences falling in to the system and becoming a juvenile advocate. It is must read book for anyone interested in social justice!
Robin Holloway
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The Library Advisory Committee for Windham School District (which works inside Texas prisons) is considering this book as next year's "Focus Book." I liked the book, but out of the five books being considered, this one was not number one for me.
Mary Jane
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

All of the above!
Ann Hunt
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my genre
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book way more than I thought that I would. A story of a troubled youth who "gets it all together" and makes something out of himself. For some reason I couldn't put this book down.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED...brutally honest and inspiring story.
Annette Cirelle
rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2017
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Oct 06, 2017
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Dec 04, 2017
German Onofrio
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Jan 15, 2019
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