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When We Wuz Famous

Review

When We Wuz Famous

Francisco Ortiz is an ordinary high school student from Spanish Harlem with various talents and abilities. He is the star on his high school basketball team, has led them to a regional championship and was the first junior in eight years to win MVP. In addition, he is a straight-A student who is looking forward to a great future. Francisco also has an amazing girlfriend and a group of friends whose bond was thought to be impenetrable.

"Author Greg Takoudes, does an excellent job expressing all the teens' opinions. The reader is baited to join them on their journey and transformation throughout the book and by how they respond to certain challenges."

But when Francisco receives a scholarship and a chance to spend his senior year at Seton Grove Academy, his life takes a dramatic turn. Seton Grove is an elite boarding school filled with rich high school students who have no idea what it is like to live in Spanish Harlem. They fire stereotypes and accusations at Francisco, leaving him to feel more alone and unwanted than ever. During break, when Francisco goes home to the "hood" to visit his friends, he realizes that he may have changed, as well. He feels as though he has forsaken some of his life-long friends, allowing him to become clueless as to what he needs to do to fit in. As struggles arise between Francisco and his girlfriend, tensions continue to develop between Francisco and his best friend, leaving him to make a terrible and tragic decision that will affect them forever.

WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS is a story about friendship and adversity with unexpected twists and cliffhangers. It is one of those books where once you pick it up, you are unable to set it down. Author Greg Takoudes, does an excellent job expressing all the teens' opinions. The reader is baited to join them on their journey and transformation throughout the book and by how they respond to certain challenges. The story is told from many characters' perspectives, as opposed to one, effectively illustrating each viewpoint, while creating an interesting and exciting book for both teens and adults. 

WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS takes you with Francisco on his journey as he tries to fit in at Seton Grove while struggling to remain tight with his group of friends back home. As readers follow Francisco on this journey to a new lifestyle, they also encounter dramatic changes in his friends. Many adversities arise, adding to the suspense and interest of the book. All these events and decisions that the students at Spanish Harlem and Seton Grove make lead to a thrilling and surprising ending that could change them forever.

Reviewed by Shelby H. on March 15, 2013

When We Wuz Famous
by Greg Takoudes

  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Genres: Social Issues, Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0805094520
  • ISBN-13: 9780805094527