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(Tyrell #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  4,467 ratings  ·  742 reviews
An astonishing new voice in teen literature, writing what is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of the year.

Tyrell is a young, African American teen who can't get a break. He's living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father's in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn't feel good enough for her - and see
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Scholastic Press
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,467 ratings  ·  742 reviews

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Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
So I'm a white middle class liberal. I'm supposed to like Tyrell, right? You know, because it gives me perspective and awarness of what it's like to be black and poor. And I'm now supposed to say things like, "I know how hard they have it. I need to do something to help them." But saying "they" and "them" would make me racist. And to be honest, isn't the whole book about Tyrell working his ass off to help himself to pull himself out of the situation he's in? He may be poor, but he's working real ...more
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Megan Williams
Independent Reading Project

For my Independent Reading Project I did the book “Tyrell”, Coe Booth. This book takes places in the South Bronx, New York. Tyrell is an urban teenager and his family is falling apart. Recently his father went to jail, leaving him, his mother, and little brother to manage. As time went on Tyrell mother couldn’t make it. They were force out of their current apartment in to shelters. For the last couple of months Tyrell and his family had been go
Jun 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
Tyrell is heavy on plot but not much else. Coe Booth sets up several potential themes but lets each one fizzle. There is no redemption for the characters, no catharsis for the readers. A lot of good has been said about this novel--that it is highly engaging, especially for reluctant readers, and that it is highly authentic--but I'm surprised it hasn't received more criticism for its presentation of young manhood (similar to the criticism the Twilight series gets for its presentation of young wom ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novelist-reviews
In sharp contrast to Walter Dean Myers's novels, Booth's novel is laced with the language, actions, and reactions of inner-city life of the South Bronx. The novel is loaded with street slang and profanity, drugs and alcohol, blowjobs and prostitutes, as well as families wrecked by selfish parents. Through it all, Tyrell's trying — as Pony Boy did in The Outsiders forty year ago — to stay gold. The book starts with Tyrell, his little brother, and his ineffectual mother shipped off to a roach-infe ...more
I want to punch Tyrell's mother in the face.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-urban-fiction
I picked this book up because it seemed like time to find out what all my students love about it, and I totally get it. The voice of Tyrell is the voice of real kids I see every day. The book has tons of action and so much tension, and the plot moves fast. Tyrell is so easy to like despite the fact that he often makes choices that made me want to cringe. I feel like his mistakes are so believable for a kid in his tough situation and his motivation is completely clear, and that made disliking him ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because Tyrell is complex, a blend of good and bad qualities, and you can see through his eyes how his environment and circumstances shape the way he is. I enjoyed the dialogue and the love triangle between Tyrell, Novisha, and Jasmine--can't wait to read Bronxwood!

Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
omg!now i am finally finished reading this book.It was so good.I loved reading this books mostly out of all of the books I read.I would definetly recommend this book.
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This books is about a boy name Tyrell that goes through hard times with his family in the Bronx. Tyrell's father is in jail so it is just him his mother and his little brother. Since Tyrell's mother wasn't working when his father wasn't in jail, she was not supporting the family, the father was. So when he went to jail she could not support the family because she did not have a job and she could not find a job because she was a crackhead.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA/Adult
Recommended to Terri by: I read reviews of the book!
Last year a student asked me to recommend a book to him that was "real" and "like me." After some discussion, I recommended "Tyrell" by Coe Booth. I hadn't read the book, but had read several strong reviews on it. A few days later he came back and asked for me - he would only talk to me because "you gave me a good book." He said "I gotta a friend in the library now." He told me that it was the first book that he had ever read cover to cover and that the book had changed his life. He is reading l ...more
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
From the first page this book grabbed my attention; I liked how the book related to real life situations that happen today. Parents aren't playing their full part and taking responsibilities for their family. Tyrell's mother was irresponsible and inconsiderate; she depended on her husband to provide,care and cater to her every needs when he got locked up she turned to the next man in her life. Which was her son Tyrell she to go out and start selling drugs, basically putting her son at risk just ...more
Mariana Lopez
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Tyrell by Coe Booth is now one of my favorite books. When i started reading the book i noticed that his language is like a modern language of teenagers these days cursing,etc. The first day i started reading i got up to page 100 because i just couldn't stop reading! It just made me want to keep on until i finished the book. This book is about Tyrell who has been kicked out of his house by the landlord & was sent to "Bernett" a motel they send people without homes Its not even a shelter they ...more
Fred Kirchner
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An amazing debut by Coe Booth. She has created what seems to me a protagonist (Tyrell) with street cred, sensitivity, and major cools. He's also a terrific big brother, a budding entrepreneur, and in a committed relationship with his girlfriend, Novisha. All of which diesn't take into account the fact that he's homeless and forced, at age 16, to assume the head of household duties while his father is in jail and his mother has issues with responsibility, welfare fraud, and holding down a job. Sh ...more
Eudy Ferreira
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tyrell is very troubled teen. For example Tyrell lives in a shelter and Tyrell and his mother don't get along. Also he is trying to make money for his family to leave the shelter. Moreover he also has girl troubles he's dealing with but first he likes a girl named Novisha and they are going out but then thing get very complicated between them. However then things get even weirder. He meets a girl named Jasmine and they start messing around while Tyrell is going out with Novisha. Furthermore he t ...more
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: African Americans in Poverity
Recommended to Shelby by: My teacher Ms.Yost
This book may look really intresting but it even looks it. This book changed my perspective on life. Also it may just have the back of a boy's head but look's can be deceving. This book is just like real life in the Projects. Tyrell is a boy trying to take care of his mom and brother Trey. Trey is in special edd and he needs help and his mom does not take good care of him. Tyrell also has a girlfriend and he is trying to keep her and not loose her, but theris this other girl that likes him and i ...more
Stephanie Bolton
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Tyrell's father is in prison...again. Tyrell is doing his best to be the man of the family. At home he's working to keep his mother from completely falling apart, he has dropped out of school and is finding small ways to make a little money to keep them fed. All the while he is dreaming of the day when his girlfriend, Novisha, has finished high school and they can get married and move away together. When Tyrell and his family get placed in an especially rough hotel for a weekend Tyrell is forced ...more
Gunnar Wiltsie
Tyrell is 14. Broke, homeless, with a mom who refuses to take care of his little brother and acts like the world owes her a living, Tyrell is under so much pressure, sometimes he feels like he's gonna break for sure.
Tyrell's father is in jail again, his mom thinks the world owes her a living, and his girlfriend Novisha wants more than he can give. Tyrell, his mom and his little brother Troy got kicked outta their apartment because his mom refused to look for a job, and they couldn't pay the rent
Miguel Rafael
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book I read is called “Tyrell” written by the author Coe Booth, I rated it five stars because I liked it and it's a realist story it's about Tyrell living with his mother and his little brother they live in a shelter, their father in jail because the police caught him selling drugs but his mom likes to go into bars with her friends and she doesn't take care of her children so Tyrell have to take care of his little brother.

The most interesting part of the book was when the children's care t
Sarah Donovan
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Tyrell's father is in jail; he's living in a shelter with his mom and brother; he's dating a good Catholic girl whose mother cooks for him; he's dropped out of school; he's a budding DJ, and he's trying to figure out how to be with raw expression my students will love (but their parents won't ).
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the best books I read this year so far. It comes with different varieties such as comedy, love, and suspense. I would recommend this book to a friend who is maybe going the the same things tyrell was going though and maybe once they read it it can give them some advice. This book is mainly about a boy that grows up not having the best life. He understands now that he is older he does more grown man stuff and helps out his mother to take care of his little brother since ther ...more
Alex Hughes
Sep 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was the first book I read with my group. I wish it were not! There are several reasons for this. There was little to no character development throughout the book, which I wouldn't mind, except that the entire book was written in "slang" in point of view of the protagonist. I felt that even the setting was lacking in strength of description and hindered the book plot development in my opinion. The characters is the fiction were more or less worse in morality than that of Tyrell's, with the e ...more
Desmond King
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book I just got reading is Tyrell written by Coe booth. The book used language of a young boy that was brought up in the ghetto with nothing. He lived off assistants from the government such as shelters, food stamps, etc. . The language was very hard to understand at times because when your reading a book you expect the grammar to be perfect and the structure of the sentence to make since. But in this book she talks exactly like a young man would in Tyrell's situation and lifestyle. So you g ...more
Oct 30, 2009 added it
I would recommend Tyrell to anyone who thinks they have a rough life. Tyrell is without a doubt one of the only characters in a book I have sympathy for. To anyone who thinks life is unfair. This is a great example of how bad things can get for people and anyone who believes there life is unbearable. I want say that Regg is my favorite because I can relate to him the most. I understand what its like to be a big guy and I’m great with numbers to. My least favorite is Tyrell’s mom. She is so irrit ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teens, Educators, Wanna-be thugs
Recommended to Rakisha by: Vikki and Lisa
As a Young Adult librarian, I inwardly (barely) frown upon any teenager's craving for the so-called street/hip-hop/urban fiction that has become a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. These books glorify an opportunisitic, materialistic, sexist, violent, and sometimes criminal world that teens live or wish to live. Lest you think me some suburb-rised cultural elitest, let me set you straight. I'm straight up 'hood born and 'hood raised. I've seen some of these stories close up in rea ...more
Tyrell is fifteen years old. Two weeks before the book starts, his family (him, his moms, and his 7-year-old brother Troy) are kicked out of their apartment in the projects because they can’t pay the rent while Tyrell’s father is in prison. Tyrell’s mother does not like having to provide for her family while her husband is in jail and she will take any handout she can get, including keeping Troy in special ed classes so that she gets a monthly check from social services. Tyrell becomes responsib ...more
Kayla Wilson
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This books is about a boy name Tyrell that goes through hard times with his family in the Bronx. Tyrell's father is in jail so it is just him his mother and his little brother. Since tyrell's mother wasn't working when his father wasn't in jail, she was not supporting the family, the father was. So when he went to jail she could not support the family because she did not have a job and she could not find a job because she was a crackhead. The family could not pay for their 3 month rent so their ...more
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, 2008
Tyrell is a 15 year old who, along with his mother and 7 year old brother, has just become homeless. With his father in prison and his mom pressuring him to "be the man" Tyrell resists the easy way out of the ghetto and the easy way to fast money- selling drugs. And even though he would love the chance to really "get with" his girl Novisha, he respects her decision to wait until they are married. After all, he knows she is the girl for him, and he will be the man who takes girl of his girl, his ...more
Mike Mullin
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best male teen voice by a female author I've read. Seriously, if Walter Dean Myers had written this, I don't think Tyrell's voice would have been any more accurate or believable. Coe Booth does a fabulous job putting the reader into Tyrell's head, so that by the end of the book I felt like I'd spent a week wandering the streets of New York with him. One of the ways she does this is by using a fairly heavy dialect throughout. I found it off-putting at first as I was continually stumbli ...more
Crismeiry Mejia
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a book about a fifteen year old boy named Tyrell. He live with his bother Troy and his mom. His dad is in prison because he was selling drugs,and pimping girls. Now that his dad is in prison he have the responsability of take care of his brother and mom. His family were kicked out of the house because they didnt have enough money to pay the rent after his father was translated to prison. Now they live in a shester. Tyrell is passing for a difficult time because he has alot of pressure fr ...more
Naiya Stewart
I don't know where to start, but I must say Tyrell is such a handful. I never met anyone quite like him. Even though I never physically met him, I feel like I knew him my whole life. Tyrell is a Black teenage boy that is struggling for a better life. He is basically the man in the household since his father is currently serving time in prison. His mom seems to not have her priorites in order, while his little brother isn't aware of anything going on. Family isn't the only issue Ty has going for ...more
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book review 2 3 Dec 04, 2018 09:41AM  
Teen Book Break a...: Tyrell 1 4 Oct 06, 2015 02:41PM  
Young readers thoughts on Tyrell? 1 13 Nov 26, 2013 01:40PM  
Kelly Reading Class: reader response 2 8 Jun 14, 2013 08:06AM  
do you love it or wat? 5 43 Mar 02, 2013 10:22AM  
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Other books in the series

Tyrell (2 books)
  • Bronxwood (Tyrell, #2)
“I ain't gonna lie. I like having my girl take care of me this way. I can't wait 'til she finish high school and we can live together somewhere on our own. I'ma support her while she in college, pay all the bills and shit, and she can take care of me like this everyday. Man, that's the way I wanna be living.” 12 likes
“We still got roaches on the bed, walls, and floors, but Troy ain’t even crying ‘bout them no more. He probably too used to them by now.” 3 likes
More quotes…