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8 Gutsy Coming-Of-Age Stories To Revisit Right Now

Move over Holden Caulfield, from the projects of Brooklyn to Milton, Massachusetts, these stories inspired the city-kid in all of us. Curated by Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven, here are 8 of our favorites.

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4. The Dragon Can't Dance by Earl Lovelace


From Trinidadian author Earl Lovelace, this novel follows Aldrick Prospect as he prepares for Carnival. Lovelace takes on not just the toils of growing up but how humans cope racial tensions and colonialism.

5. Conversations in Sicily by Elio Vittorini


First published in 1941 as Nome e Lagrime, this book follows Silvestro Ferrauto as he battles his families demons. If Hemingway endorses it, it's good enough for you.

7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz


This powerhouse novel follows Oscar Wao, a character that Diaz calls a 'ghetto nerd.' It also won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

8. Team Seven


A debut novel from Iowa grad Marcus Burke, Team Seven follows Andre Battel as he navigates life in a neighborhood south of Boston. From hitting the basketball court to pushing weed to dealing with a father who appears as quickly as he vanishes, this book shows the just how tough growing up can be.

“This is one of those rare first books you'll read again and again. The prose surges forward: relentless, plainspoken and artful, the people it describes laid bare, the tender heart at the center pulsing through each chapter. Unforgettable.”

—Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie