True Notebooks is the story of Mark Salzman's eye-opening tenure as a writing teacher to a group of teenage boys in a juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles. Many of Salzman's students have been charged with murder, and he is initially apprehensive about teaching them. But his first encounter with them changes his mind: rather than the thugs he had expected, his students are vulnerable and carry terrible burdens. As they write about their pasts, their conflicted relationships with their families, and their fears about the future, they come to care for their teacher, who has given them a rare opportunity for self-expression. But in their threatening environments, vulnerability may be a liability. Salzman acknowledges the complexities of their plight while celebrating their redemption.More
Alex Award Winner, 2004
"Wonderful...Even the manipulative kids Salzman introduces are stunningly human...Examines a broken system with grace, wit, and gripping storytelling." (Booklist)
"Eloquent...Cogent, thoughtful and honest." (The New York Times)
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Funny, witty and honest! Loved the book!!