True Notebooks

  • by Mark Salzman
  • Narrated by Paul Boehmer
  • 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say



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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Funny, witty and honest! Loved the book!!

If you need something that'll make you think a little about life or about a side of society you only hear about on the news, this is the book for you! You'll find yourself driving around just to listen to one more chapter. The characters seem to come to life and you'll wish you knew what "they grew up to be" or where to write them a letter. Some of the language used is not suitable for children, other than that the book is FANTASTIC!
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- Erika

Unforgettable Journey

This is truly a remarkable audiobook. Written with a powerful style that truly makes you feel the author?s apprehensions and triumphs, frustrations and empathy. Throughout the book I was amazed that the author could bring forth all of these vivid experiences from memory. The author takes us into a world that few of us will ever experience in person. The reader, also, has a wonderful style that brings the characters to life without being overly dramatic. I enjoyed every minute of this book.
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- Dan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-31-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape