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True True (Hardcover)

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True True By Don P. Hooper Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Gil, a Jamaican-American teen from Brooklyn, is over the moon after his acceptance to Augustin Prep, a prestigious Manhattan private school. This opportunity is his chance to shine, especially on the robotics team. Gil, however, has to fight to prove himself worthy of his admission after the school bungles their response to a race-based attack on him. Challenging in all the best ways, I rooted for Gil through every moment, even when he misstepped.



In this powerful and fast-paced YA contemporary debut, a Black teen from Brooklyn struggles to fit in at his almost entirely-white Manhattan prep school, resulting in a fight and a plan for vengeance.

This is not how seventeen-year-old Gil imagined beginning his senior year—on the subway dressed in a tie and khakis headed towards Manhattan instead of his old public school in Brooklyn. Augustin Prep may only be a borough away, but the exclusive private school feels like it's a different world entirely compared to Gil's predominately Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn.

If it weren't for the partial scholarship, the school's robotic program and the chance for a better future, Gil wouldn't have even considered going. Then after a racist run-in with the school's golden boy on the first day ends in a fight that leaves only Gil suspended, Gil understands the truth about his new school—Augustin may pay lip service to diversity, but that isn’t the same as truly accepting him and the other Black students as equal. But Gil intends to leave his mark on Augustin anyway.

If the school isn't going to carve out a space for him, he will carve it out for himself. Using Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as his guide, Gil wages his own clandestine war against the racist administration, parents and students, and works with the other Black students to ensure their voices are finally heard. But the more enmeshed Gil becomes in school politics, the more difficult it becomes to balance not only his life at home with his friends and family, but a possible new romance with a girl he’d move mountains for. In the end, his war could cost him everything he wants the most.

About the Author

Don P. Hooper is a writer and filmmaker of Jamaican heritage (and a programmer in a former life). His short story Got Me a Jet Pack is part of the New York Times bestselling anthology Black Boy Joy. His directing work has been featured in the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, the New York City Horror Film Festival, the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival (award winner), and more. He does voice-over in video games and documentaries. True True is his debut novel.

Praise For…

Praise for True True:
Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best 2023 Pick!

★ “In this compassionate debut, a love letter to Brooklyn and Caribbean culture, Hooper paints an organic portrait of a Black teenager who feels caught between two different worlds. Gil’s determination to lift up his peers often results in him disregarding his own needs and wants; through his earnest first-person POV and natural-feeling prose, Hooper presents valuable lessons on the healing power of community, forgiveness, and sharing one’s truth.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

"With modern and quick language mixed with the energy of New York City seen through the eyes of Jamaican immigrants, Dreamers, and first-generation kids, the author takes readers on a journey as Gil figures out how a place at the school of his dreams mixes with the only life he has ever known in Brooklyn...A timely YA novel that takes on heavy themes of race and immigration with freshness, hope, and a dash of Jamaican patois."—School Library Journal

"Hooper unflinchingly shows Gil’s torment at the hands of hostile peers and ignorant school officials. However, the author is similarly unafraid to highlight how Gil’s single-minded quest for justice…Featuring a rich and layered rendering of New York City few other YA books can match, this debut novel is ideal reading for politically minded young readers."—Booklist Online

“Immersive and captivating, True True is an unflinchingly honest letter to culture, social injustices, community, and the limitless power of one’s voice. A riveting page-turner! Do yourself a favor—read this book!” —Julian Winters, bestselling and award-winning author of Right Where I Left You

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593462102
ISBN-10: 0593462106
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
Pages: 384
Language: English