The Black Reader

WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST

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In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut that Publishers Weekly calls “a funny and rewarding read” captures the heart and the hardship of life...
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In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut that Publishers Weekly calls “a funny and rewarding read” captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should've been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.

Product details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 18, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442459484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442459489
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches

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SHIPPING Your orders will be shipped within 48 hours of receiving your successful payment. You will also receive an email or text once the books have been shipped, your tracking information will be included. RETURNS Once you have received your shipment you have 48 hours to contact us using the return form below to return your purchase. Please include all requested information to receive in store credit toward another purchase. All products must be returned in resale condition.

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