I was unsure whether I'd get anything from a book written by a black guy who had grown up running with gangs. To be honest our worlds couldn't have been further apart; I'm a white guy who grew up being bullied from an early age. How wrong was I? Errol's ability to draw on and then translate his personal experiences into meaningful and universally understood messages are undoubtedly his strength.
In one passage he describes how NOT getting supported by a group of friends in a fight meant he just got involved with a tougher gang. This is exactly the opposite of the message I would have expected. What I expected was "I didn't get supported so I realised fighting wasn't an option" and in reality that is his message. But not until he lives with making more mistakes because he chose to join the gang.
So what you get is reality about the good and bad choices that the author made and his eventual realisation of his own need to grow as a person and to help others. These realisations are backed up with great information and practical advice.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed what I got to read of the book (so far) because as an added bonus I think it gave me some extra 'cred' with one of my kids who saw me reading it, 'borrowed' it and as a result I haven't had it back yet!