Boy21 is a young adult novel that immerses the reader in the world of past pain and abuse, and goes about skillfully bringing a realistic recipe for hope. In a realistic world of poverty where our hero is set on playing basketball to help get himself out of his current lifestyle, he finds someone more needy than he is and finds the compassion to befriend the very person who poses a threat to everything he holds onto.
I don't want to give the story away, but I will say this: the plot was well formed, the present tense, one person point of view was well executed, and I really cared. This story made me care.
I wanted the best for these characters, I wanted the poor boy to have a better life, and I felt with him and his father and grandpa.
The story successfully transported me to a believable world with realistic events where hope could still shine in a dark and dreary world.