Jess Mowry. Way Past Cool (1992) 309 pp.
Gordon, age thirteen, is the leader of the Friends, a gang of young
black boys who struggle to hold a few blocks of bleak, ragged turf in Oakland—known
to the homeboys as Oaktown—California. When a more powerful sixteen-year-old
drug dealer tries to set the Friends against their neighboring rival gang,
the Crew, the dealer’s unwilling bodyguard emerges as the key player in
a drama that illuminates America’s urban reality in a totally new way.
Released as a motion picture in 2000.