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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,703 ratings  ·  322 reviews
"This isn't some Jedi bull****; the force I'm talking about is real, and its energies are everywhere, working on everyone."

Boston, 1992. David Greenfeld is one of the few white kids at the Martin Luther King Middle School. Everybody clowns him, girls ignore him, and his hippie parents won't even buy him a pair of Nikes, let alone transfer him to a private school. Unless he
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Random House
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,703 ratings  ·  322 reviews

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Felice Laverne
See my EXCLUSIVE interview with the author, Sam Graham-Felsen here!

I will be surrounded by dudes like this for the rest of my life. White boys and white girls who grew up behind whitewashed fences, who grew up with no idea, for the rest of my life. The force preordained it: Not only will I be surrounded by them, I will become one of them, the thing I hate and can’t escape. Not a white boy or a whitey or a white b*tch, but a white person.

If you’re looking for a way to start your new year out
Larry H
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 3 and 3.5 stars.

"I am the white boy at the Martin Luther King Middle. Well, one of two. Kev, my oldest friend and the biggest dick I know, is the other. But if you had to pick just one, it'd be me. There are a few other white kids in the system (unless you count Boston Latin as a public school, which you shouldn't), and I pretty much know all of them."

Dave Greenfeld (aka "Green") is starting the sixth grade in Boston in 1992. His "hippie parents" have no interest in the latest fashio
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Green is definitely going to elicit a broad range of reactions. It takes on a fraught topic, and does so without providing easy answers. But despite a few reservations, I found myself fully emotionally engaged -- even teary at times. David is 12 years old, describes his parents as old school hippies, and is one of the only white kids in his middle school in Boston in the early 1990s. He has a hard time finding his place, keeps begging his parents to send him to private school, and ends up becomi ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars, rounded up
David Greenfeld is one of two white kids at MLK Middle School in 1992 Boston. Poor soul with his blond hair and blue eyes sticks out like a sore thumb. At least the other white kid is good at basketball. The beginning of the book threw me, with this white kid talking black kid lingo. It took me awhile to adjust to the language. He wants to fit in and that is just not going to happen. And his chances of getting into Boston Latin aren’t very high either.

1992 was the year of t
Always Pouting
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
It seems like other people quite enjoyed this book but for some reason it did not work for me. I think usually if you don't have a strong plot line, if the writing really appeals to me then that can make up for it but I didn't really find the writing that great. That said I think it is written with a younger audience in mind so it might be somewhat unfair to expect the writing to be a little bit more complex. I just don't think the themes in the book or the plot line was really strong or clearly ...more
One reason this debut novel succeeds so very well are the layers. It can be enjoyed by teens but just as well by adults. Race, religion, ethnicity, family dynamics, growing up, sexual awakenings, being harassed, winning admiration, feeling out of place, making friends and losing them…all these things are eloquently addressed in the hip hop slang of a white boy trying to fit in a primarily minority school in Boston. He is twelve and on the cusp.

Graham-Felsen gets the awkwardness and uncertainty o
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m not usually big on reading books that take on race issues because, you know. Some of them are truly appropriation – white guys acting like they know everything about the black experience. Others are cloyingly politically correct, or saccharine in their plot development.

So it was an absolute surprise—and delight—to read Sam Graham-Felsen’s original take on race and privilege. The author actually grew up in Boston and was one of the few white kids at a mostly black inner-city school and he eve
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book did absolutely nothing for me. Actually, I lie. It annoyed me. Quite a bit. Don't expect a well thought out review, because you're not going to get one. Much like this book, with its random mish-mash of themes and no clear plot, this review will also be disjointed and will probably contain made up words and copious eye rolling.

Lets start with our main character Dave. Dave is in AP classes. I don't know what that means in this world, but in my world that indicates the kid is pretty cle
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
You can also read my review on WP:

****4.5 stars****

This story made me laugh out loud but also broke my heart.

Growing up in Boston, the year is 1992. David Alexander Greenfeld aka "Green" feels like the only white boy at Martin Luthar King Middle. That is not entirely accurate because there is Kev, the other one. Green is navigating his way through middle school with hippie parents, second rate shoes, and his absence of color. A chance meeting at a bus sto
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2018
I read Green mostly because the setting was Boston in the 1990s. Didn't realize it was YA until I had it in my hands. It's another study on race (which have flourished under the Trump regime and because of it), with a white protagonist, David Greenfield (a.k.a. "Green") and his black best bud, Marlon Wellings (a.k.a. "Mar").

The conceit is that Green's parents, as former hippies and do-gooders and liberal sorts, send their son Dave to a 99% black middle school called King (as in "MLK, Jr."). It
3.5/5 Stars!

Every once in a while, I choose or wish for a book on NetGalley solely due to the description and GREEN was one of those books.

12 year old David Greenfeld, aka Green, is nearly the only white boy in Martin Luther King Middle School in the early 90's. As such, he is subject to harassment, and not only because of his color. He's Jewish, even though his family doesn't practice, he doesn't have the right clothes or shoes, and he has few friends.

Marlon, a black teen that lives nearby, c
Jennifer Blankfein
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Follow my reviews on Book Nation by Jen

It is the 1990s and Dave, son of Harvard educated hippies, is one of only a few white kids in his Boston middle school. Having a difficult time connecting with the other students, he becomes drawn to Marlon, a black kid from the projects who seems to have similar interests; video games, the Boston Celtics and getting into the better high school. They become friendly but both are ashamed of their home life and there is
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe it would have helped to have been a boy in order to appreciate this coming of age story. Set in Boston in 1992, this book is about David Greenfeld who is a 6th grader and one of only two white boys in a middle school where he is an uncool outsider with the wrong sneakers. He forms a friendship with Marlon Wellings who lives in the projects in David's neighborhood. David's parents are hippies who made professional decisions unlike those of their Harvard classmates. This is why David wound u ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A reader I admire told me this is his favourite book of the year so far so therefore I must immediately read it. I love specificity in fiction and this book is so clearly and distinctly set in Boston 1992 that it’s almost a celebration of Boston in 1992. The details and voice are so perfect that I could almost understand a reader focusing on the coming-of-age aspect and missing the glorious exploration of race and friendship, transgenerational trauma and mental health. Graham-Felsen makes it fee ...more
I received this book for free from Goodreads’ First Reads.

I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4.

This book tackled adolescence, race, and privilege in the 90’s in an interesting way. In a lot of ways this book reminded me of Fresh Off the Boat (both the book and the show based on the book) because of the 90’s rap/hip hop influence.

Overall, I don’t quite know what to make of it. It offered a viewpoint you don’t hear about all too often which I liked. I think the book was successful in
switterbug (Betsey)
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sam Graham-Felsen explores fundamental racism, where each group is inflammatory to the others, in his adult book about middle-schoolers in a Boston public school. The author’s jumping off point in this coming-of age story is his own experience as one of few white boys in his school, and his imagination takes us to realist fiction in some funny, ironic, and painful ways.

It is 1992, and Dave Greenwood is extra white with his curly blonde hair and blue eyes. Like all the other kids, he is trying t
Rachel Kulik
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
*i got this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve been reading lots of books about race and class lately but this Okay so the main character is a white male with class privilege, and he goes to a school where he is basically the only white kid. The story seems to do a lot of telling and not showing, except for how mean the POC’s are to the white kid. Maybe this changes throughout the book but I can’t sit through a book that is written by a white author writing abou
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Green is set in the early 1990's. Green himself is a white middle-school kid in Boston whose parents have decided that it's good for him to go to one of the more gritty middle schools- they have hippie ideals and want their kids to be exposed to all walks of life. In fact, Green says that he's the whitest of the two white kids in his school, a first-page sentence that made me smile and want to read further.

Green is b
Bruce Katz
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british-fiction
This really is a remarkable book --funny but also very serious, touching, and (to my mind) honest. "Green" is the nickname given to David Greenfield, one of the few white kids in a primarily black Boston school. He is blond, half-Jewish (though the word doesn't signify much to him), child of parents who would today be called "crunchy," grandson of a Holocaust survivor, brother to a "special needs" sibling who has stopped talking, and painfully desperate to find his place in an environment where ...more
3.5 Stars

Green is a lot of things in this story. It's the nickname of the main character, 12-year-old Dave Greenfeld. Green is also the color of his (and his new bestie Mar's) favorite team, the Boston Celtics. Green is the color of the trees in the park that separates the rich people houses from the housing projects; it's the color associated with inexperience and envy. All of these things play a major role in the novel.

I was engaged an entertained throughout the novel, but I wasn't blown away
lucky little cat
I like this book. The author clearly remembers his teen years vividly. If Maniac Magee had been a Celtics fan, and done impulsive, dumb things instead of always getting everything preternaturally right, then he'd be Dave.

This is a boy book, chock-full of believable 90s-era teen slang, devotion to the Celtics, the Celtics curse, buddies, guilty secrets, weird little brothers, bullies, bloody noses, posers, dubious fashion choices, angst, family, and the mysteries that are girls. And a number of
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
“It seemed like the smoke of those riots spread all across the continent, all the way to Boston.”

Green is a unique coming of age story, told from 12 year old David Greenfield, growing up in Boston in the early 90’s. The year Green focuses on for the entirety of the novel, is the year 92-93. We start when Dave is entering 6th grade, and the novel ends right before his 7th grade year begins.

The year is significant, because this school year is a milestone year for Dave. He has the only chance to ta
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
”Though it raises serious questions about race and inequality with a poignancy that took me aback, Green is also funny and beautifully written, with not a word out of place, and somehow managing to be both true to its young narrator’s voice and bracingly intelligent in its depiction of a brutal societal impasse...”—Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

This book was refreshingly unique. I was excited about it when I saw it available on NetGalley, and was equally excited to fi
Kasa Cotugno
In his own voice, we meet David Greenfeld, hero of Sam Graham-Felsen’s remarkable debut novel. Middle school is hard enough to negotiate under normal circumstances, but when you’re practically the only white 12-year-old in an intercity school in Boston, it’s even worse. His parents, latter day hippies, refuse to even buy him Nikes to help pave the way — the right shoes are key to acceptance. So, with a brother on the spectrum who seemingly gets all the breaks, David works hard to find his place. ...more
Joy Clark
3.5 stars... A solid book that explores racism and privilege. David ("Green") is one of the only white kids at his public junior high. He befriends Marlon ("Mar"), a black boy who lives in the low-rent high rise in the next neighborhood. Things are great for a while, but then the cracks start to form as the two undergo testing to enter a magnet school. There are any number of microaggressions that of course David doesn't realize, but the reader (hopefully) does. There is also a layer of anti-Sem ...more
Laci Long || Book Pairings
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Green is a coming of age story set in 1992, which is the year of the Rodney King riots. Dave is one of two white kids going to a Boston area middle school. He describes the racial tensions of the riots and the time by saying,“It was like the smoke of those riots spread all across the continent, all the way to Boston…”

Naturally Dave struggles to fit in and is bullied often, but he makes friends with, Marlon, a black kid from the projects who has a difficult home life. Marlon and Dave bond over th
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF at 50%. I tried to get through this but I just lost steam about halfway through. The story was okay but the character voice and narration were so ridiculous I had a hard time taking it seriously. I was a teenager in the 90s and NO ONE talked the way the main character talked in this book, except kids in after-school specials or dorky anti-drug PSAs that adults wrote with all the cool new slang in order to try to reach the "youths." It's like when your mom starts trying to use "on fleek" and ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
David Greenfeld is a sixth grader who’s the son of sixties radicals. His father is a non practicing Jew and his mom was raised Christian. Both his parents believe in equality and make little money so they live in an integrated neighborhood and David is one of few nonblack students at his local school. He’s heckled constantly and called whitey so he feels left out of social life and sometimes is physically afraid until he meets a new black student named Marlon who welcomes him as a friend and eve ...more
One of my friends recommended this book to me and at first, I was very interested. The book is about a white guy in an all-black school around the 1950s. The book was written as if the young 6th grade had written it and the author has used some stylistic choices like 'me and Kev' instead "Kev and I.'
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This coming of age story is set in the 1990s and centers around the friendship of David and Marlon, two very different kids who find they have a lot in common.
David is one of the only white kids at Martin Luther King Middle School in Boston. He's a target for bullies and hates that his parents won't send him to a private school like his little brother Benno.
Marlon is being raised by his grandmother because of his mother's instability. When Marlon sticks up for David one day when he's getting b
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Writer based in Brooklyn. Author of the novel, GREEN (Random House, Jan 2018). Former chief blogger for Barack Obama.

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