Street Pharm: Book Review

Written by Allison van Diepen, the book Street Pharm is a fiction novel about a teenage male that is in a position to become one of the lead drug dealer in New York.  The boy is a 16 year old named Tyrone Johnson. After his father Orlando’s arrest for drug dealing, Ty finds himself raised and influenced to deal drugs to keep his father’s family business alive.

Ty is held together by a cast of employees, other dealers, traders, users, classmates, and family. Throughout the narrative, the reader is a part of a school boy that is adventuring into drug dealing while trying to uphold a profile picture of an intelligent businessman.

Some of the most interesting parts come from the development of a relationship between Ty and Alyse (a schoolmate), Ty and Darkman (a competitor drug dealer), Ty and Sonny (Ty’s co-dealer), and Ty and his mother & father.  The struggles and stresses that Ty faces during the novel can be considered overwhelming but within gravity of actually occurring in a New York drug scheme.

While, Ty endures the double duty of schooling and dealing, he must confront the reality of making a choice between the two. Should Ty choose to stay or abandon his father’s lifelong business of drug dealing? Should Ty choose to graduate or dropout of school? The image Ty seeks throughout the novel is a teenager who is trapped in despair but reaching with hope of becoming his own man.

The final image Ty connects with latches down on him to leave the past to succeed for a future.   

-Joseph T Ross

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