Down These Mean Streets

Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Recently I read a wonderful book from the Berkeley High library called Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas.  The book is an autobiography that details the life of Piri Thomas, from his teenage years to his adult years spent behind bars.  Thomas’ book was thrilling! There was not a dull moment throughout the book; a scene that summarizes the concept of the book was when Piri was screaming at his brother about being African and Puerto Rican. The screaming gradually turned into tears and fist filled with anger all waiting to erupt upon the next person to make a remark. Piri would fight his father and little brother not realizing that he was fighting something dark inside of himself, after this series of fights Piri is kicked out of the house and left homeless struggling to find his way through New York and beat a strong drug addiction.

Down these Mean Streets deserves a 9 out of 10.  I recommend this book to readers who like activism, books written in the 1940s, Spanish speaking books, and twisted love stories.

Reviewed by P. Alcorn, class of 2011


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