Reviews for Pact : Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
Book News Reviews
Three young African-American men make a high-school pact to abandon the lure of street life in Newark, New Jersey and become doctors. This volume chronicles their struggle to succeed, from childhood through medical and dental school graduation, emphasizing throughout how their mutual support and friendship was the key to their achieving their goals. Perfect for junior high and high school aged youth seeking inspiration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 May 2002
Three young black men in the medical professions (a dentist, an emergency-room physician, and an internist) recall an informal pact they made as youths that guided them out of their inner-city Newark neighborhoods and into successful careers. The three take turns describing their particular family situations, which encompass poverty, unstable family lives, drug-addicted parents, gang influence, and minor skirmishes with the law. When they met in high school, they recognized each other as kindred spirits who wanted to overcome the odds but were vulnerable to the negative influence of friends and family. They developed a friendly competition that blossomed into a pact to attend the same university--Seton Hall--and to support each other through the demanding predental/premedical program. In their own voices, these three young men tell a compelling story that will inspire other young people to form and value supportive, long-term friendships. ((Reviewed May 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 April #4
Jenkins, Davis and Hunt grew up in and around the projects of Newark, N.J., a place decimated by crack. "The sounds of gunshots and screeching cars late at night and before dawn were as familiar to us as the chirping of insects must be to people who live in the country." The three attended high school together in the mid-'80s and made a pact to attend medical school together. "We didn't lock hands in some kind of empty, symbolic gesture... We just took one another at his word and headed back to class, without even a hint of how much our lives were about to change." Against incredible odds the almost complete absence of male role models, a history of substance abuse in two of the families, and even incarcerations the trio made good on their word and now practice medicine. Told in alternating first-person chapters, the story of these young men's struggle has remarkable clarity and insight. In extremely accessible prose, the authors articulate the problems they faced: "On the streets where I grew up, you didn't worry about consequences. If someone disrespected you, you beat his ass. Period," says Hunt; while Jenkins recalls, "Sometimes it felt surreal, walking past the drunks, dealers, and addicts on my way home from dental school with a pile of books." Although it is a memoir (which, by nature, is often self-serving), this book's agenda is far from hidden and its urgency is undeniable: through their pact, Davis, Jenkins and Hunt achieved success, and if they did it, others can, too. Agent, Joann Davis. (May 13) Forecast: Books about male friendship are rare. This fills the void nicely, and should be a strong seller, especially among African-American readers. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Adult/High School-This is the collective memoir of three 29-year-old African-American men from broken impoverished homes around Newark, NJ. Davis is an emergency-room physician, Hunt is an internist, and Jenkins is a dentist; each one takes a turn narrating a chapter. As teens, they made a pact to stick together through college and medical school, to help one another reach their goals. The advice they give is to work hard toward your objectives, avoid hanging out with those who will have a detrimental influence on you, and surround yourself with friends who have similar dreams and ambitions. The authors are frank about their mistakes, temporary failures, disappointments, and shortcomings. They started mentoring programs such as Ujima while they were still college freshmen, and today they run the Three Doctors Foundation. Many teens will be captivated by the men's accounts of their childhoods, their families, the street life that threatened to swallow them up, and how they helped one another succeed.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2002 October
This book is an inspiring memoir of three young African American men who grew up together in a Newark, New Jersey, public housing project, an environment plagued by crime, drugs, and random violence. Davis and his co-authors, Remeck Hunt and George Jenkins, attended high school together in the 1980s and made a pact there to attend medical school together. The trio had seemingly insurmountable obstacles to overcome to achieve their ambitious goal-a complete absence of male role models, histories of family drug abuse and incarceration, and pressures to succumb to the drugs and violence that they witnessed every day. Supporting one another, the friends made good on their promise, and each now has a successful medical practice. In alternating first-person point-of-view chapters, these young men describe their struggles with clarity and insight. They are proud of their success, and they enthusiastically encourage readers in similar situations to pursue their dreams with the same determination. The prose is accessible, although as one might expect in a such a book, the authors can come across as self-serving and a bit heavy-handed at times. Their agenda is clear-they want to inspire other young men to pursue and realize their dreams as they did. There are not enough books for teens about male friendships, but this one is excellent. Young adults, especially those living in communities where social problems weigh heavily against their success, will find inspiration in the remarkable life stories of these young men.-Ed Sullivan. 4Q 2P S Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews