Benjamin Zepaniah’s latest book, Gangsta Rap (Zepaniah, 2004) is a thought-provoking story about three fifteen-year old boys from east London, the most impoverished area in the city, trying to find a place to belong. In his two previous books, Refugee Boy (Zepaniah, 2002) and Face (Zepaniah, 2002), Zepaniah also describes teenage boys feeling isolated from the society. While in Refugee Boy fourteen-year-old Alem confronts the difficulty in mixed nationality, in Face (2002), the fifteen year-old boy Martin, confronts difficulty in his physical appearance which was caused by a car accident. All in all, Zephaniah’s strategy for the book seems to be straightforward: showing teenagers struggling to find their identity and in the end finding out ways to solve their problems.
By: Benjamin Zepaniah