Trade Ed. Random House Audio 2003
CD ISBN 0739307134 $29.95 Five CDs
A gifted writer turned volunteer teacher applies his lucid prose style to the killers at Central Juvenile Hall. Salzman encourages the boys to write their own stories. This forces these violent kids--most are in for murder--to locate other, better selves. The author's intelligent, nuanced voice seems wrong for the class work of these wild and menacing kids. Despite the flaw in presentation, this remains a stirring, remarkable audiobook. One boy writes what it's like "when a .45-caliber bullet at high speed hits a tomato." They cheer a story in which a character opens fire on the police. But when Mark plays the cello for them, they cry. I cried, too, when he told that story. B.H.C.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]