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Scorpions (1989)

Author: Myers, Walter Dean [link to author's website]
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of pages: 224 pages

Lately everybody's messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal's brother Randy's in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack. All the gang jive--Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it's the only way to cop the bread for Randy's appeal... For twelve-year-old Jamal, life changes drastically when he acquires a gun. Though he survives the experience, it's not without sacrificing his innocence and possibly his relationship with his best friend.

ISBN 13: 978-0064470667
Reading Level (grade): 3.7