Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence, A True Story in Black and White
Long before President Barack Obama praised his work as “an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children,” and First Lady Michelle Obama called him “one of my heroes,” Geoffrey Canada was a small and scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where “sidewalk boys” learned the codes of th...more
I honestly think the epilogue does not serve the story well. It pushes the book into didactic, instead of letting Canada's experiences speak for themselves.
But I really app ...more
“Long before President Barack Obama praised his work as “an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty e ...more
Fist Stick Knife Gun was illustrated by Jamar Nicholas, based on Geoffrey Canada's memoir by the same title. This is th ...more
But why, you might ask. Especially if you knew me. I mean, I'm no Pollyanna by any means, but I do like to think of myself as a "let's just give peace a chance" kinda gal. No really. I am. Which me ...more
Fist Stick Knife Gun is an amazing book and it is an interesting read. Fist Stick Knife Gun is a graphic novel but still portrays a powerful message. Fist Stick Knife Gun follows Geoffrey Canada through his life in the Bronx and it shows the well developed system of unwritten laws in place. Geoff is raised with three brothers and his mom in a bad neighborhood. This neighborhood has a system of fighting set up. The winners get to travel and play on the streets while the losers get to sit on the...more
This book is a graphic novel adaptation of a book by the same title that was originally published in 1995. Jamar Nicholas, the artist, does a fantastic job of illustrating the words that Geoffrey Canada wrote. He captures the fear of young boys as they are forced to fight and the violence they witness growing up, and he captures the triumph they feel at overcoming an opponent or standing up for a friend. It is a compelling story and a good ...more
In the form of a graphic novel, Geoffrey Canada tells his own true story of struggling to break out of the streets in which survival meant downplaying one's intelligence while the choice of weapons escalated and the deaths of friends became commonplace. I think students will be fascinated by this book from beginning to end. Many students will identify with the events and ideas in this book. The South Bronx is not really that far from some of their personal experiences, or from the world ...more
adapted by Jamar Nicholas
Based on the best selling book of the same name, Fist Stick Knife Gun is the true story of a boy growing up in the Bronx, surrounded by gangs and violence. Mr. Canada shares with the reader how children in his neighborhood were indoctrinated to violence at a young age and how each year the violence escalated.
The prose is simple, straight-forward, and moving. The illustrations are successfu ...more
This was a quick read, although it was nonfiction. This is the graphic novel edition, and there is obviously violence and cussing. Such was the way of Geoffrey's life in the Bronx. He doesn't soften anything, and as you read it, you realize this violence and always ...more
In the epilogue to Canada's personal history of violence, he writes, "While nationally we have foolishly invested our precious resources in a criminal justice approach to solving our crime problem--including hiring more police and locking up more people for longer periods of time--we have nothing to show for it except poorer schools, poorer services for youth, and more people on the streets, unemployable because they have a cri ...more
"Violence has always been around, usually concentrated amongst the poor. The difference is that when I was growing up, in the 1950s, '60s, and even '70s, we never had so many guns in our inner citties. The nature of the violent act has changed over these decades from the fist, stick, and knife to the gun."
"America has long had a love affair with violence and guns. It’s our history; we teach it to all of our young. The Revolution, the “taming of the West,” the Civil War, the world wars ...more
I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to booktalk it for my 9th grade students. Jamar Nicholas does a wonderful job of adapting Geoffrey Canada's memoir of learning the codes and conduct of violence as a boy growing up in the South Bronx. The simple language and powerful themes will appeal to both reluctant and enthusiastic readers, as will the incredibly expressive drawings. It would be great to pair this book w ...more
Teaching Ideas: I could see this book being used in literature circles in a literature classroom in middle or high school. It would complement a unit on social ...more
He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a Master's degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.