In Two Words: INSPIRING and ENGAGING
How I Met This Book
This Spring semester, I’ve been interning in a middle school in the rather inner-city area of New Brunswick, NJ. The more time I spend there, the more I understand the lifestyle and the roadblocks that make it so hard for people to get out of a damning neighborhood and culture.
On a quiet day last week, I was flipping through a bookshelf when I found several copies of “We Beat The Streets”. As I read, I wondered why it wasn’t mandatory reading for the students, especially considering how similar (not same, but close) their upbringing is to that of the protagonists.
The Three Doctors
“We Beat The Streets” is authored by 3 physicians known as The Three Doctors and tells the true story of their journey from children in the ghetto to activists in the ghetto of Newark, NJ, a city with some of the highest crime and murder rates in the country, and some of the lowest high school graduation rates, never mind college attendance.
Amid drugs and violence, the trio formed a pact that they would make it to and through college. Despite the odds against them, despite the constant bumps that made their dream seem impossible, the boys became men with diplomas and those men are now practicing doctors/dentist – one even works in the same Newark emergency room he was treated in as a child.
Reading “We Beat The Streets”
The book is very easy to read. The beginning few chapters each spotlight a different one of the boys with a story from his childhood that impacted him in this direction. Then as their friendship formed, their story comes together and follows them through high school and college.
Every chapter is followed by a short conversational piece from one or more of the doctors, adultly reflecting on the topic in that chapter. It is an altogether easy-to-read book, geared toward middle school children and older. As an adult who reads fast, it took me about an hour and a half to read this and I enjoyed it.
The Three Doctors: Other Projects
The Three Doctors have a website where they tell their story and describe their foundation, and feature 2 other books.
“The Pact” seems to be a more adult version of “We Beat The Streets” and I will try to review it at another time.
“The Bond” is a follow-up story from their adult lives where they document their search for their fathers and the struggles of a fatherless life.
Note: All links may be affiliates, which means I might get 3 cents on the dollar. Or 2.