Monday, February 20, 2012

February Book Club -- The Pact

My enjoyment rating: 3 of 5 stars (5 stars for inspiration; 3 stars for mediocre writing)
Source:  Personal copy
February Book Club choice
Black History Month choice

Born in the projects of New Jersey, the future seems bleak for Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. Their neighborhoods are saturated with drug dealers, crime, and hopelessness. But when they forge a friendship in junior high, these three young men make a “pact” that their lives will be different – that they will finish high school and graduate from college. It’s a tough road – so many influences trying to derail their dreams – but with the help of many mentors and their own determination – they succeed.

One of the blessings of being in a book club is the opportunity to read books you have either never heard of or would not normally pick up on your own. This is one of those. I’d never heard of “The Pact” and I’m so glad our discussion group leader made this our choice.

My life is so VASTLY different from these young men. I’ve never been arrested for the simple fact that my skin color is different. I’ve never been threatened with violence or drugs. I’ve been raised in a stable family with a mom and dad: So many things that can change the outcome of one’s life.

What they were able to accomplish with so little is truly amazing – when so many of their friends were succumbing to the pull of peer pressure, drugs, and street life.

The only negative to this book was the writing. For what was a truly inspirational story, the writing was uninspired – which really took the gloss off trying to read about their accomplishments.

It was an excellent book club choice – so much to discuss about race issues, the plight of inner city education – and education in general really – and giving back to one’s community: A Pandora’s box of social issues discussion. But also guiltily so as we were a group of very naïve white women.

For more on The Pact -- check out the related video: