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The Beautiful Struggle

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Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived. Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother "Big Bill," who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his family struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.


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Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived. Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family, including his brother "Big Bill," who was on a very different path than Ta-Nehisi. Coates also tells of his family struggles at school and with girls, making this a timely story to which many readers will relate.

30 review for The Beautiful Struggle

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    Ta-Nahesi Coates’ wrote the original version of this memoir, Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, in 2008, for adults. This adaptation is aimed at ages 12 and up, those formative years when younger minds begin to look toward the future, what they want theirs to look like, and how much energy they are willing to put forth to attain that future. As a child, Coates says he '...sleepwalked through the world, hoping one day to wake up on a fantastic other side and Ta-Nahesi Coates’ wrote the original version of this memoir, Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, in 2008, for adults. This adaptation is aimed at ages 12 and up, those formative years when younger minds begin to look toward the future, what they want theirs to look like, and how much energy they are willing to put forth to attain that future. As a child, Coates says he '...sleepwalked through the world, hoping one day to wake up on a fantastic other side and realize that this had all been a dream. I was clueless - I was the type of child who lost his hats and jackets on the first warm day of the year. Dad would lecture, and the words would fly straight past. It was like I heard them but could not translate.’ I thought what a relief this statement would be to all the other parents with children who walk through their days with their heads in the clouds, considering the man he has become, and the success Coates has achieved. Having read his Between the World and Me, We Were Eight Years in Power and The Water Dancer I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this and learn more about his journey from child to man. His life as a child in the 80’s living in Baltimore with an imposing, authoritarian father, and half-siblings who were also cousins is inspiring. His father was also a publisher, and managed to juggle his life to not only provide for his children, but to spend time with all of them. A man that Coates says, they all knew ’was flawed, but still he retained the aura of a prophet.’ A beautifully shared, personal coming-of-age memoir that shares his struggles, his obvious love and appreciation for his mother and her belief in him, his love and appreciation for his father despite their oftentimes strained relationship. Published: 12 Jan 2021 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press

  2. 4 out of 5

    BookNightOwl

    A memoir about the author. Was a little difficult to follow maybe because of the slang or I kind of felt it was all over the place. Still enjoyed reading about the growing up in this Era with a father who fought in the war and was a member in the black panther.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I've been following the growing diversity in the YA memoir scene this year, and was happy to see Ta-Nehisi, a writer I use often in my classroom already, was set to publish a YA version of his memoir. Since this book focuses on his childhood up to his high school graduation, I thought this would be the perfect addition to my classroom library, or even my curriculum for American Lit. As always, Coates' prose is elegant and poetic. I normally don't bother writing down quotes in my book journal fro I've been following the growing diversity in the YA memoir scene this year, and was happy to see Ta-Nehisi, a writer I use often in my classroom already, was set to publish a YA version of his memoir. Since this book focuses on his childhood up to his high school graduation, I thought this would be the perfect addition to my classroom library, or even my curriculum for American Lit. As always, Coates' prose is elegant and poetic. I normally don't bother writing down quotes in my book journal from YA novels -- most of what I read in YA isn't worth that much handwriting during a read. But this book has a lot of gems that could be great for getting kids thinking or talking about themes and current events. But as I read, I wondered if some of even my upper-level high school students would be able to understand some of the passages. Some of the vocabulary and syntax would prove challenging enough for many young adults to disengage with the story. His life story was engaging enough, but I wish he spent a little more time with his "character development". I felt that his father was well-developed, but I wasn't super connected with his voice or any of his other family members, mostly because the book was so short! But there are some passages that I'll return to, and maybe even use for some model writing activities or mentor sentences in class.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kingtchalla83

    Ta-Nehisi Coates adapted his masterpiece The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood for a young adult audience.   Thoughts 1) I applaud Coats for not code-switching within the text to make the language accessible for a particular audience because it lends authenticity to the narrative. However, it might have beneficial to include footnotes for specific past references for a young audience.  2) He conceptualizes Knowledge (street) vs. Consciousness cleverly employing Ta-Nehisi Coates adapted his masterpiece The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood for a young adult audience.   Thoughts 1) I applaud Coats for not code-switching within the text to make the language accessible for a particular audience because it lends authenticity to the narrative. However, it might have beneficial to include footnotes for specific past references for a young audience.  2) He conceptualizes Knowledge (street) vs. Consciousness cleverly employing allusions and metaphors to maximum effect if the reader is savvy enough to pick up what he's putting down.  3) Coats shatters the myth of disaffected, unqualified, and apathetic educators in urban schools not caring about their charges' outcomes. Yes, I'm looking at you white-savior movies in the 90s and one-sided media reporting. 4) Paul Coats, his dad, is a flawed but compelling man. He armed his kids with books that imparted an arsenal of awareness about philosophy, African civilizations, cultures, and American history examined through the lens of Blackness. He teaches life lessons of self-esteem, Black ownership, racial pride, and decentering Eurocentric ideals and standards.   5) Coats extols the import of hip-hop from the 70s and 80s. The casual listener or observer is probably only familiar with gangsta rap and not the multifaceted nature of hip-hop, especially at its inception. Coats discovers authority in Public Enemy's Chuck D's lyrics. He is spurred to push his pen for rapping and later writing. 6) I connected with being different in an urban environment that requires a unique skill set to survive that doesn't create space for a dreamer, comic book nerd, or oddball. I understood the necessity to wrap oneself in the armor of Knowledge to exist in peace.  7) I don't believe this book will work for everyone, but I enjoyed it - although it's not my favorite book by Coats. However, this is an excellent appetizer to the adult novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amber Reifsneider

    I was gifted this digital advanced readers copy though NetGalley for my full, honest opinion. This book took me a while to get through. And honestly I WANTED to love it. However, it just didn’t do it for me. As it is marketed for young adults, I found this VERY difficult to read. I was constantly looking up words and becoming more and more frustrated with the vocabulary used. I think that the memoir itself is very powerful, but in looking at it through the lens of being YA, I just don’t see it a I was gifted this digital advanced readers copy though NetGalley for my full, honest opinion. This book took me a while to get through. And honestly I WANTED to love it. However, it just didn’t do it for me. As it is marketed for young adults, I found this VERY difficult to read. I was constantly looking up words and becoming more and more frustrated with the vocabulary used. I think that the memoir itself is very powerful, but in looking at it through the lens of being YA, I just don’t see it as being very accessible to most young adults.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amie

    The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults) by Ta-Nehisi Coates is adapted from his bestselling memoir of the same title. As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of what being a teen in urban Baltimore is like. It is a strong coming of age story and also a book about father-son relationships. I enjoyed the language and rhythm of the prose, but, as it is adapted for younger readers, I have to review it with that audience in mind. The vocabulary is advanced and there is a lot of slang interwov The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults) by Ta-Nehisi Coates is adapted from his bestselling memoir of the same title. As the story unfolds we get a glimpse of what being a teen in urban Baltimore is like. It is a strong coming of age story and also a book about father-son relationships. I enjoyed the language and rhythm of the prose, but, as it is adapted for younger readers, I have to review it with that audience in mind. The vocabulary is advanced and there is a lot of slang interwoven throughout the book that the author assumes the reader knows. One has to be well read and deeply interested in the topic to fully appreciate the narrative, and even as an adult, I found myself daydreaming and bogged down at times. I don't know how much of an adaptation from the original this is, but it definitely skews to a more mature, well-educated audience. My recommendation is for ages 18 and up. I can easily see it being chosen as required reading for a college-level literature course. 3.5 stars / 5 due to the reading level required for a young adult reader. Advanced e-ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This is a young adult (ages 12 and up) version of The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood which I previously read and loved. So I was very excited about this one when I saw it. Although it is well done and includes some powerful stories about his coming of age, I was definitely not the target audience of this book. There were terms and phrases that I was not entirely familiar with, although, with context, I was able to figure out what was being talked about. On This is a young adult (ages 12 and up) version of The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood which I previously read and loved. So I was very excited about this one when I saw it. Although it is well done and includes some powerful stories about his coming of age, I was definitely not the target audience of this book. There were terms and phrases that I was not entirely familiar with, although, with context, I was able to figure out what was being talked about. One of my favorite parts of this book included all of his experiences with djembe drumming. He did an amazing job describing the hypnotic experience and it made me want to check out some videos! I think this book was very well written and I believe that students should definitely check it out. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    A true example of what I see as a memoir...not a linear accounting of facts and conversations, but memories...flashes...episodes thru HIS lens, sometimes incomplete and not totally comprehensible to an outsider. After all, it IS his story. Some passages are lyrical, some are straightforward. Some in the slang of the time and place is difficult for us, in this time and place, to fully understand. But, like reading the beginning of Clockwork Orange, we do fall into the prose and story. Coates is one A true example of what I see as a memoir...not a linear accounting of facts and conversations, but memories...flashes...episodes thru HIS lens, sometimes incomplete and not totally comprehensible to an outsider. After all, it IS his story. Some passages are lyrical, some are straightforward. Some in the slang of the time and place is difficult for us, in this time and place, to fully understand. But, like reading the beginning of Clockwork Orange, we do fall into the prose and story. Coates is one of seven siblings, born to 4 women, some close friends. His father,a Vietnam Nam vet and recovering Panther, was very involved in his sons' lives, sharing the literature he sold, the history of his people. Coates is very honest about his struggles in school...his indifference to most of his classes. I think lots of young readers will recognize themselves in this part of the story...the power plays among student cliques, balancing family expectations and peer expectations. Not an easy book, so I wonder if students will successfully navigate the shifts of poetry, the chronology, the hijinx, the family dynamics. If they can, this is a gem.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Ronan

    Really loved this memoir. Coates' writing is phenomenal and I felt immersed in the stories he shared from growing up. Recommend for teens and adults. Thank you to Random House Children's Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy. Really loved this memoir. Coates' writing is phenomenal and I felt immersed in the stories he shared from growing up. Recommend for teens and adults. Thank you to Random House Children's Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    shaela

    Yes this was a struggle to read. I wanted to like it but it didn’t do anything for me. I rarely give up on a book-it’s not something I like to do but I struggled to get even halfway through this one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth M.

    I’m loving the trend of adapting nonfiction books for younger audiences so they can experience fantastic writing and impactful stories at a younger age. Here, Ta-Nehisi Coates has adapted his memoir THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE for young adults and it is fantastic! In a truly accessible way, Coates tells his own coming-of-age story, revealing what it was like for him growing up in the inner city of Baltimore. He shares how he navigated common issues many face with school, girls, and family members. But I’m loving the trend of adapting nonfiction books for younger audiences so they can experience fantastic writing and impactful stories at a younger age. Here, Ta-Nehisi Coates has adapted his memoir THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE for young adults and it is fantastic! In a truly accessible way, Coates tells his own coming-of-age story, revealing what it was like for him growing up in the inner city of Baltimore. He shares how he navigated common issues many face with school, girls, and family members. But he goes further than that. He discusses the challenges he and his siblings faced within their community. He opens up about the strengths and difficulties of his relationship with his father, who was deeply invested in raising strong Black sons who could combat racism as he did, but often saw Coates as lacking some of the necessary forcefulness to do so. There’s so much more to be found in the pages of this book, but I don’t want to spoilt it all! Many thanks to Random House/Delacorte Press for gifting me a copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mona AlvaradoFrazier

    "Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it ca "Adapted from the adult memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a child, Ta-Nehisi Coates was seen by his father, Paul, as too sensitive and lacking focus. Paul Coates was a Vietnam vet who'd been part of the Black Panthers and was dedicated to reading and publishing the history of African civilization. When it came to his sons, he was committed to raising proud Black men equipped to deal with a racist society, during a turbulent period in the collapsing city of Baltimore where they lived. Coates details with candor the challenges of dealing with his tough-love father, the influence of his mother, and the dynamics of his extended family." What makes a great memoir is the universality of lived experiences, the novelistic narratives, and engaging characters. This novel, set in the late 1980s and 1990s, has it all. I haven't read the original version of the memoir, but this one adapted for young adult readers is sure to engage. From the descriptions of the neighborhood, the family expectations and desires of Ta-Nehisi Coates himself, we feel the conflict on the pages. The reader can empathize with his parents and Ta-Nehisi. Examples of when he was punished: "He swung like he (Dad) was afraid, like the world was closing in and cornering him like he was trying to save my life. ..The conference consisted of only one sentence that mattered—who would you rather do this: me or the police?...He was waiting for me to finally police myself." Half of the first chapter may be hard for readers due to the slang used but stick with the narrative because this is an excellent memoir. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Adults who read the older version of this book will probably be delighted to have an adaptation for a younger audience. Certainly, the descriptions of this man's formative years in Baltimore will be familiar to many of them who are growing up in similar circumstances. Coates makes it clear that growing up is complicated, and that families and family dynamics are just as complex. Sometimes his parents seemed united in their goals and paths for him, and sometimes they seemed to be at odds, and it' Adults who read the older version of this book will probably be delighted to have an adaptation for a younger audience. Certainly, the descriptions of this man's formative years in Baltimore will be familiar to many of them who are growing up in similar circumstances. Coates makes it clear that growing up is complicated, and that families and family dynamics are just as complex. Sometimes his parents seemed united in their goals and paths for him, and sometimes they seemed to be at odds, and it's a toss-up as to whether the strict upbringing of his father, a Vietnam War vet and former Black Panther, was effective or not. Clearly, the man's love for literature would make its effect known in his child(ren), and the influence of his mother cannot be denied. There are parts of the book that are filled with rich, imaginative description and almost make readers feel as though they are in a fantasy novel and other parts that are harsh and realistic. While I appreciated this book and its honesty, it bounced around quite a bit and left me wanting to know more so that I could tie all the pieces of Coates's life experiences together. He touches on the violence in his schools and neighborhoods and the way that drumming saved him, but I longed to know how he managed to survive and thrive and make his way into a successful career as a journalist, writer and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, given his lack of motivation or success in school. And if part of the point here is that formal schooling wasn't needed, then I'd have appreciated a deeper exploration of why not. I finished the book feeling unsatisfied and wanting more so that I could understand his experiences better. Perhaps I'll need to read the adult version of this memoir to find the answers I'm seeking.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for the Advanced Readers Copy. I appreciate Ta-Nehisi Coates' knowledge and perspective and admire his writing ability, so I was really excited to read his memoir. Even better for teacher-me that there is a young adult version! This memoir is Coates' journey up until college, and it's a really interesting read, full of struggles and switchbacks. I love that the author so willingly shares young Coates' mistakes, his bravado, his lack of drive/focu Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for the Advanced Readers Copy. I appreciate Ta-Nehisi Coates' knowledge and perspective and admire his writing ability, so I was really excited to read his memoir. Even better for teacher-me that there is a young adult version! This memoir is Coates' journey up until college, and it's a really interesting read, full of struggles and switchbacks. I love that the author so willingly shares young Coates' mistakes, his bravado, his lack of drive/focus. Young people need to see that success and maturity are hard earned and built on fumbles and failures. Coates admits to those. He also admits to some lucky breaks, which we all hope to get. Coates is quick to show the love and support around him, too, which helps strengthen the ideas that we aren't doing it alone... and we don't have to do it alone. Good messages all around in this interesting life's telling. I will say that I was surprised that this is considered a young adult version of Coates' memoir. I found the language beautiful but often challenging. The cultural and historic allusions sometimes took me a moment to catch and I'm sure I missed some. Same with the vernacular. Some is dated and I understand because of my age, some is vernacular that my students may know but it's also not common language or references used in many young adult books that I'm familiar with. The language won't be accessible to some students who would really value the story and its messages.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Campbell

    I have such conflicting feelings about this book. There were parts of it that were pure poetry and the words were beautiful. But, as a whole, I just didn't get into this book. I felt like it was a group of vignettes strung together to make a story. I know that life is messy and not clear cut, but I kept having trouble getting a clear picture of this family. Were they living in a rough neighborhood or not? Did Tanehisi find solace in academia and study or not? It was hard getting a clear picture I have such conflicting feelings about this book. There were parts of it that were pure poetry and the words were beautiful. But, as a whole, I just didn't get into this book. I felt like it was a group of vignettes strung together to make a story. I know that life is messy and not clear cut, but I kept having trouble getting a clear picture of this family. Were they living in a rough neighborhood or not? Did Tanehisi find solace in academia and study or not? It was hard getting a clear picture of the narrator. There were portions of the book that had local slang and vernacular that I didn't understand. Is that my privilege talking or was it a barrier for other readers? Overall, my expectations were not inline with this book. I saw the cover, the length and hoped that it would be a book that struggling readers would devour. I don't imagine struggling readers at my high school being able to sift through to get to the meat of the story. I wanted to know more about the characters. What exactly was Big Bill up to? What contributed to the father's softening with his youngest son? I just wanted to know more about the internal workings of the world of this narrator.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Lyrical, powerful, and haunting, Coates’ memoir adapted for younger readers dives and hovers over his Baltimore childhood through teenage years, and the men and women who shaped him. Chief among these is his father, mother, brothers, and lessons learned on the street and in the halls of school. Born in 1976, Coates’ memoir bursts with the energy of his lifetime: the cultural revolution of music and pivotal influence of black artists and athletes, including the looming shadow of drugs and percept Lyrical, powerful, and haunting, Coates’ memoir adapted for younger readers dives and hovers over his Baltimore childhood through teenage years, and the men and women who shaped him. Chief among these is his father, mother, brothers, and lessons learned on the street and in the halls of school. Born in 1976, Coates’ memoir bursts with the energy of his lifetime: the cultural revolution of music and pivotal influence of black artists and athletes, including the looming shadow of drugs and perceptions of white society. His father, a man of Conscience, former Black Panther, and man determined to rescue his people’s history, carried high expectations for his children - especially his sons. All journeys involve struggles, but a black boy in America - well, that’s different. And each individual is different, too, as the reader experiences when crammed into Coates’ house with his brothers, meeting his friends, finding out what happens. There are no bad people in Coates’ life - just people. Circumstances and rules, life and the struggle. Highly recommended. Thank you to the publisher for an advanced digital copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jill Reads

    The coming-of-age story of Ta-Nehisi Coates is sometimes vivid, and at other times muted. True to Coates's form, the vocabulary and syntax is often very advanced. But not always. Some of the pacing seems off. Uneven. Maybe it was overly edited? Some sections feels as if there were two different writers. All in all, "The Beautiful Struggle" is a good book, and I enjoyed learning about Coates relationships with his brothers, parents and friends. But it's not what I expected. Maybe because it doesn' The coming-of-age story of Ta-Nehisi Coates is sometimes vivid, and at other times muted. True to Coates's form, the vocabulary and syntax is often very advanced. But not always. Some of the pacing seems off. Uneven. Maybe it was overly edited? Some sections feels as if there were two different writers. All in all, "The Beautiful Struggle" is a good book, and I enjoyed learning about Coates relationships with his brothers, parents and friends. But it's not what I expected. Maybe because it doesn't read like most young adult books do? (At least the ones I've read that target ages under 18). I get that Coates himself was an advanced reader of literature during his teens, but I'm unsure if this has a strong enough story to interest today's teens? Special thanks to Delacorte Press for an eARC, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    Reading this book, adapted for young adults, made me wish I had read the original, written for adults. The writing is gorgeous and the author tells an important story. However, it is not an easy read. I'm an avid reader, always have been, and it's doubtful I would have put in the work to read something this challenging (on my own) when I was in high school. As someone who is nearer the author's age than his target audience for this book, I found that the cultural references I understood were like Reading this book, adapted for young adults, made me wish I had read the original, written for adults. The writing is gorgeous and the author tells an important story. However, it is not an easy read. I'm an avid reader, always have been, and it's doubtful I would have put in the work to read something this challenging (on my own) when I was in high school. As someone who is nearer the author's age than his target audience for this book, I found that the cultural references I understood were likely to mean nothing to a young reader, while many other references I had no idea why I don't know what he means. Is it because I am older than the target audience, because I grew up a littler earlier than he did, because of the neighborhood, or the education he got from his father? We'll never know. I'm glad I read it but would probably not buy it for my teenage nephew. 3.5 stars. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a digital review copy. Publish date January 12, 2021.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela Branham

    Ta-Nehisi grew up in Baltimore in a time when --"Teen pregnancy was the fashion. Husbands were outies. Fathers were ghosts." -- He and his siblings really were not sure what to make of their Vietnam vet and Black Panther Dad who had seven kids by four different women. "We held him in this weird place, somewhere between hatred and complete reverence." Yet, when they looked around, they saw that their friends had absentee fathers, so the Coates' kids were lucky. Their father was strict, ensured th Ta-Nehisi grew up in Baltimore in a time when --"Teen pregnancy was the fashion. Husbands were outies. Fathers were ghosts." -- He and his siblings really were not sure what to make of their Vietnam vet and Black Panther Dad who had seven kids by four different women. "We held him in this weird place, somewhere between hatred and complete reverence." Yet, when they looked around, they saw that their friends had absentee fathers, so the Coates' kids were lucky. Their father was strict, ensured they were street smart, and that they understood he was in charge. Can this relationship between father and sons give Ta-Nehisi and his siblings what they need!? This novel was real and smartly written; I didn't want to put it down.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marilu

    I wish I can express how much this book meant to me. It is a beautiful opportunity to be able to read about his life and his relationship with his father. It is a beautiful, raw coming of age story that expresses the struggles he has gone through, his love for the family....I cried. I want to say more...but will leave you with this quote that perfectly sums up the book (in my opinion): As a child, Coates says he '...sleepwalked through the world, hoping one day to wake up on a fantastic other sid I wish I can express how much this book meant to me. It is a beautiful opportunity to be able to read about his life and his relationship with his father. It is a beautiful, raw coming of age story that expresses the struggles he has gone through, his love for the family....I cried. I want to say more...but will leave you with this quote that perfectly sums up the book (in my opinion): As a child, Coates says he '...sleepwalked through the world, hoping one day to wake up on a fantastic other side and realize that this had all been a dream." I just reviewed The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults) by Ta-Nehisi Coates. #TheBeautifulStruggleAdaptedforYoungAdults #NetGalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tralyn

    What a beautiful glimpse into the early years of Ta-Nehisi Coates. His writing is magical and transports the reader to his childhood home, in Baltimore in the 1980’s, where his parents try to prepare him for life and survival. While Coates gives account of his boyhood friendships, brothers, and family, his father, and their relationship, seems to be the main focus. I enjoyed reading the author’s depiction of his own life. This was a shortened, adapted version of an earlier work. I would have enj What a beautiful glimpse into the early years of Ta-Nehisi Coates. His writing is magical and transports the reader to his childhood home, in Baltimore in the 1980’s, where his parents try to prepare him for life and survival. While Coates gives account of his boyhood friendships, brothers, and family, his father, and their relationship, seems to be the main focus. I enjoyed reading the author’s depiction of his own life. This was a shortened, adapted version of an earlier work. I would have enjoyed learning even more about his life. I will likely read the original now as well as his works of fiction. I gave this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to any fan of memoir.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    This is an inspiring memoir that has been re-written for the coming-of-age audience. In my opinion, this version would keep the interest of the older readers as well. A wonderfully honest memoir of family life. Life from the point of view of a young black boy whose father’s tough love and teachings seemingly go in one ear and out the other. Ta-Nehisi overall is a good boy, his father however expects more from his son knowing he is capable. His mother is there to support his triumphs and defend h This is an inspiring memoir that has been re-written for the coming-of-age audience. In my opinion, this version would keep the interest of the older readers as well. A wonderfully honest memoir of family life. Life from the point of view of a young black boy whose father’s tough love and teachings seemingly go in one ear and out the other. Ta-Nehisi overall is a good boy, his father however expects more from his son knowing he is capable. His mother is there to support his triumphs and defend his integrity when he stumbles. It’s touching, it’s realistic and “the struggle is beautiful” just as the title predicts.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    Wow! I love this book. I will definitely recommend this to my co-teacher and see if she can use it with the ELA class. I teacher science and math, but will definitely be recommending this to my students. I hope my co-teacher can use it for her ELA/Social Studies classes. Very well written. I give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone looking for a book to read. This book will be on my re-read shelf. I know I will learn new things every time I do. I was given the opportunity to read this bo Wow! I love this book. I will definitely recommend this to my co-teacher and see if she can use it with the ELA class. I teacher science and math, but will definitely be recommending this to my students. I hope my co-teacher can use it for her ELA/Social Studies classes. Very well written. I give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone looking for a book to read. This book will be on my re-read shelf. I know I will learn new things every time I do. I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Dressler

    It is wonderful when authors write such profound pieces of literature, that we deem it necessary (and vital) that young children have their own adaptation. Ta-Nehisi Coates memoir, The Beautiful Struggle has been adapted into a children’s book. I enjoyed viewing the stories through an adapted lens, and the thoughts and murmurings regarding fathers was especially profound. I highly recommend this book- grab it and add it to your classroom shelf, or gift it to your favorite teacher. We need more memo It is wonderful when authors write such profound pieces of literature, that we deem it necessary (and vital) that young children have their own adaptation. Ta-Nehisi Coates memoir, The Beautiful Struggle has been adapted into a children’s book. I enjoyed viewing the stories through an adapted lens, and the thoughts and murmurings regarding fathers was especially profound. I highly recommend this book- grab it and add it to your classroom shelf, or gift it to your favorite teacher. We need more memoirs, real life accounts, and we need more Ta-Nehisi Coates on our classroom shelves.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I opened "The Beautiful Struggle" with an open mind. I love what Mr. Coates's "Black Panther" means to our culture. I struggled with his autobiography, to be honest, at first. However, I then considered this was the awesome Mr. Coates's story. HIS way of telling it. When viewing the story through that lens, I understood it was not for me to follow but just to learn about his perspective, personal growth and struggles as he walked into adulthood and toward the storyteller he became. I opened "The Beautiful Struggle" with an open mind. I love what Mr. Coates's "Black Panther" means to our culture. I struggled with his autobiography, to be honest, at first. However, I then considered this was the awesome Mr. Coates's story. HIS way of telling it. When viewing the story through that lens, I understood it was not for me to follow but just to learn about his perspective, personal growth and struggles as he walked into adulthood and toward the storyteller he became.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Thuanhnguyen

    For those who love Coates, this is a good book for young adults. I still, however, feel that Between the World and Me is his best work, and for older young adults, a better read. I have a hard time when I feel like authors who are very great writers try to make things an easier read for younger people. Still, if I had nothing to compare the book to, it would be worthwhile. And teens need to read more books by Black men anyhow, so this is a good way to diversify your bookshelf.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Childrens/Delacourt Press for an advanced copy of this book. I found much of this book interesting, but it definitely has an academic feel to it. It would be great as part of a high school class where it can be analyzed, but I wouldn't recommend it to an average teen who is looking for a pleasure-read. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Childrens/Delacourt Press for an advanced copy of this book. I found much of this book interesting, but it definitely has an academic feel to it. It would be great as part of a high school class where it can be analyzed, but I wouldn't recommend it to an average teen who is looking for a pleasure-read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Very beautifully written and poetic, with timely and important issues.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Reviewing for professional magazine- see review there.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vic

    3.5 stars Coates keeps surprising me. Not my favorite of his but still well done as a text.

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