Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence—A True Story in Black and White

Geoffrey Canada and Jamar Nicholas, Beacon, $14 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-8070-4449-0
Canada, a legendary educator and crusader for inner-city-youth, first published in 1995 his revelatory account of the daunting push toward violent behavior that was a part of his Bronx childhood. This graphic adaptation by Nicholas works as a kind of youth-friendly summary of that book's conclusions. Canada's thoughtful, no-nonsense narrative begins in the Bronx in the late 1950s, after his father left him, his mother, and two brothers to fend for themselves. The spine of the story is not so much the broad array of violence on display in a neighborhood suffering from postwar white flight and increases in crime, but Canada's surgical analysis of the stages of violence and the strictly codified strata that reigned on his street and in his school. Helped by Nicholas's dramatic but low-key illustrations, Canada describes how he graduated from one level of violence to the next in a sort of ladder of self-protection. This inexorable evolution is dismaying enough before Canada moves ahead to show how those codes of violence eventually collapsed under an influx of guns. This is exactly the sort of broadly appealing and gripping nonfiction graphic novel that librarians need to be adding to their shelves. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Comics
Hardcover - 179 pages - 978-0-8070-0422-7
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8070-0423-4
Open Ebook - 118 pages - 978-0-8070-4462-9
Ebook - 175 pages - 978-0-8070-0400-5
Paperback - 181 pages - 978-0-8070-4461-2
Prebound-Glued - 144 pages - 978-0-606-23171-8
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