True Notebooks

True Notebooks

A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall

Book - 2004
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Chronicles the author's first year teaching at Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for Los Angeles's most violent teenage offenders.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2004, c2003.
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed.
ISBN: 9780375727610
Branch Call Number: PS572.L6 S25 2004
Characteristics: viii, 330 p. ; 21 cm.


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Nov 30, 2012

A great read which includes the perspective of the author who volunteers at Juvenile Hall.
Hear the heartbreaking voices of the inmates whose writing tells of their regret and hope. Surprisingly uplifting.

csbryant Apr 17, 2011

This book was extremely good. It was the second time that I started reading it, and I finished it quickly. I must not have been in the mood before, because there was nothing about this book that I didn’t love.

This was a book about a writer seeking inspiration for a juvenile delinquent character in his upcoming novel. In order to develop his character further, Salzman begins teaching a writing class to high risk offenders at his local juvenile hall. Although he hesitated at first, he soon fell in love with the class and the rewards it brought.

I absolutely loved how Salzman kept the inmates writing as it had been when they wrote it. He failed to clean it up for the book, which brought a rawness to it. It was incredibly interesting to follow the progress of his relationships with the boys. How he started out so uncertainly and eventually threw his heart and soul into his work.

It was heart-breaking to hear him describe the trial and sentencing of one of his students. To know that he was never given a chance. To know that he made one mistake that has fundamentally ended his life. Salzman brought the inmates to life. He makes you feel compassion for them. Compassion that may or may not be earned, but is there nonetheless.


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Jul 14, 2018

mammothhawk229e thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Nov 30, 2014

Now you know what happened. Now you know my story.
I hope I'm not just a face for you to see.
I'm a person with a past. I'm a person with a future.


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