Tyrell is set in the present-day Bronx and is told in first-person from the perspective of the title character. Tyrell is a fifteen-year-old African American boy going through a rough time in his childhood. Since his father was most recently sent to jail, he and his mother and seven-year-old brother have been moving from shelter to shelter around New York City. From start to finish, Booth takes the reader inside the mind of an “at-risk teen,” a term so commonly thrown around, but so rarely given a voice. To make that voice genuine and convincing, she allows Tyrell to delve into all aspects of teen life while employing a writing style that mirrors modern teens’ African American Vernacular English (AAVE).
By: Coe Booth