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Six Out Seven [Paperback]

Jess Mowry

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Book Description

18 Aug 1994
Corbitt Wainwight's adolescence is abruptly cut short the day his father is imprisoned for attacking a white man and his dreams of success through good grades and hard work are wiped out. Leaving his native Mississipi he sets out for California, the land of opportunity and equality, but finds a world populated by gangs and crack dealers, violent cops and street kids.

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About the Author

Jess Mowry was born in Mississipi in 1960 and raised in Oakland, California by his father. He has been a drug dealer's bodyguard, made his living from collecting scrap metal, and worked in a centre for street kids. In 1988 he bought a typewriter for eight dollars and began writing, His stories have been published in literary magazines and the collection Rats in the Trees won a Pen/Josephine Miles Award. He has written two novels, Children of the Night and Way Past Cool, and lives in Oakland.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tha truth about tha game 16 Jan 2000
By D'Andre - Published on
'Six Out Seven' is like two books. One book is tha story of Corbitt Wainwright who is a 13 year old boy who lives in Mississippi and tha other story is about Lactameon who is also 13 but lives in West Oakland California. Corbitt is tall and slim and black as space and Lactameon is so fat that he spills out of his clothes but both of these boys have to fight in that same ways to survive and come up. Both of these boys also learn that a lot of tha things that black kidz think are 'cool' are really self destructive things that tha white world teaches or encourages black kids to do like selling and doing drugs and making gang war against each other. These two boys meet in Oakland when Corbitt has to run away. This book is a lot like an adventure story for black kids and is also very deep. I like tha way Jess Mowry describes all of tha characters so that you can see them and they remind you of real people you know. Tha book goes very deep into tha real causes of black on black violence and this is why I think that some people who do book reviews don't like it. Corbitt calls all the killing and violence 'a great big video game that we were taught how to play' and I think he was right. After Corbitt comes to Oakland he discovers that he even has to play tha game if he wants to stay alive. This is what so many people don't know about these things and living in tha hood. Sometimes kids don't have any choice about playing tha game except to die if they don't. This book is filled with many interesting and on tha real characters like Corbitt's homies in Mississippi who are Lamar who is a very muscular boy and Toby who is white and who gets beat up by other white boys for being Corbitt's friend. And there is Sherry Cooper who is a beautiful black girl. Lactameon's homies in Oakland are a boy named Beamer who was a crack baby and is a little bit retarded but who is smart anyway and a half white boy named Ethan who only has one eye. Then there is Toni who is a cool girl but she also has to play tha game to live. There is also a 14 year old crack dealer named Hobbes and his bodyguard Sebastain. Tha settings and lives of these kidz are all on tha real but maybe not to somebody who never lived in places like this or who had to play 'tha game' to stay alive. There is also some 'black magic' and mystery in this story. And a ghost of a boy who was killed by tha KKK long ago who haunts Corbitt no matter where he goes. I think tha main message of this book is that only black kidz ourselves can stop all tha drugs and violence and that we need to check ourselves and stop playing tha game to do this.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE, POWERFUL AND TRULY MAGICAL. 8 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Jess Mowry is truly a gifted writer. This story reflects the lives of young children who live a life which while so close to our own is yet so far apart.Corbitt is one such "child" who as people keep telling him has all seven on what it is to be a "true african", and yet Corbitt only begins to realise what it is to be "black" when he arrives in Oakland. Corbitt is a holder of magic and power, his time in Oakland is a mission but he doesn't know it. Mowry's style of writing takes you deep into the heart of this world, and again he surprises you as the story prompts you to discover the true nature of the real story which lies between the lines and overlaps so imaginatively and yet so subtley, that the result is truly magical.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite books! It's a beautiful story! 27 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Jess Mowry has a way with words that is simply beautiful. His characters are so easy to love and laugh with and cry with. The thing I like about his characters is that they have so much depth, soul, and spirit. Reading this book takes you there - not just the streets and the hopelessness- but inside to the heart and the hope of the characters. I really love this book! I have bought four copies, loaned them out, and they continue to be passed on. Now, with my last copy, I make sure I get it back immediately so that I have something truly exceptional to read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Out Seven is a must read for everyone(especially teens) 22 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
If you haven't ever read a Jess Mowry book they are the best. This book goes from Mississippi to Oakland and is very detailed. It is the best writing I have ever read. You get the truth about inner-city life and no stereotypes. The friendships are so great in the book. Pick up a copy!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jess Mowry's most powerful novel yet! 8 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Mowry has created a masterpiece of modern literature capturing the essence and harsh realities of strret life in its true form. Even better than Way Past Cool, this novel is a landmark in contemprary black fiction.
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