When I Was the Greatest

When I Was the Greatest

by Jason Reynolds

In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.


Ages: 12 and up
Illustrated by: Michael Frost (Photography)
ISBN: 9781442459472
Price: $17.99
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

More

  • Pandora’s Legacy
  • Hicotea
  • Guts
  • Earth
  • The Undefeated
  • The Seekers
  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
  • Beast Rider
  • Are You Listening?
  • Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children
  • Rising Water: The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue
  • Science You Can Eat: 20 Activities that Put Food Under the Microscope
  • Pilu of the Woods
  • Mr. Posey’s New Glasses
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Immortal Jellyfish
  • Chapter Two Is Missing
  • The Perfect Sofa
  • No Place Like Home
  • I Am Love: A Book of Compassion
Back to Top