1. How does the narrator’s present compare with his past?
2. Who/What has the most influence on impressionable young adults?
3. How are friendships good? How are they bad?
4. How is this success story different than the success stories that you commonly hear?
Chapter 1“Dreaming Big” ~George
1. How does a trip to the dentist change George’s life?
2. Describe Ella Jenkins Mack. What kind of influence could her work ethic have had on George’s life?
3. Describe George’s step and biological fathers. How were they alike? How were they different.
4. How did George feel about Shahid Jackson?
5. Even though George made a conscious decision to become studious, how did he treat others in the neighborhood that made less than honorable career choices?
6. What kind of teacher was Miss Johnson?
7. Much of what George talked about seemed like random occurrences. But could these ‘occurrences’ have meant more to George than there face values? Explain…
1. What was Sam’s ‘Moms’s’ secret?
2. Why did Ruthener Davis drop out of school?
3. How would you describe Kenneth Davis?
4. Describe the neighborhood lived Sam while in grade school.
5. What is the significance of keeping Sam’s hair in the Bible?
6. How would you describe Ruthener Davis?
7. How was Sam’s home life?
8. How did Sam’s home life change after his parent’s divorce?
9. How did Sam get along with his siblings?
10. How did Sam’s surroundings influence him?
1. How was Rameck’s mother’s and grandmother’s relationship?
2. When and why did Arlene have Rameck?
3. How would you describe Rameck’s parents?
4. Describe life at Ma’s house.
5. What kind of parties was Rameck exposed to while living with his mother?
6. How did Mrs. Hatt treat Rameck?
7. How did Rameck feel about Winnie Jones?
8. How did Rameck’s parent’s life influence him?
9. How was Rameck’s relationship with his parents?
10. How did Ma give help?
Chapter 4“Common Ground”~George
1. Describe University High School.
2. How did George and Sam act in school?
3. How was the neighborhood around the school?
4. Which well-known pop singer attended University High with George?
5. What were the two cliques that hung out within three blocks of George’s apartment complex? Which friends did George choose?
6. Which friends did Sam choose?
7. Describe the rigor of University High.
8. What was George’s first impression of Rameck?
9. What did Rameck want to become throughout most of High school?
10. What act united the students from rival high schools?
11. Describe the incident that almost got Rameck kicked out of school?
12. How was it serendipitous that George, Sam, and Rameck were in the library to meet the recruiter from Seton Hall?
13. How did the presentation in the Library change the three boys lives?
1. How did Rameck’s Plainfield friends influence him?
2. How did the ‘code of the streets’ hinder Rameck?
3. What changed Rameck and his friends’ dreams?
4. What drew Rameck to his friends?
5. Describe the incident at the hangout.
6. How did Rameck feel after he was arrested?
7. Describe Rameck’s experience in jail.
8. How did Rameck’s Plainfield friends surprise him?
9. What happened at Rameck’s trial?
10. What did Rameck decide after his arrest?
Chapter 6“A Big Break”~Sam