By: Donovan Mixon
Tim’s a struggling black kid on the mean streets of Newark. How far can he run? Where can he hide?
Categories: All Books | Fiction | Young Adult


Tim's a struggling black kid on the mean streets of Newark. How far can he run? Where can he hide?
  Tim, already two years behind in a Newark inner-city high school, will be a sophomore again if he doesn't pass the English proficiency exam. He's got good street cred, riffing strange rap-rhymes and running like the wind. Maria, a girl in his class, catches his eye, but he's still thinking about his ex, Rene. At home, he's packed into a 3-flat with his mom, sister and Uncle Gentrale. His father, a drunk, recently walked out on the family, wanting some "freedom." He tells Tim, "Ahgottahandleonit." He doesn't. Nor does Tim. The last day of school before summer, in front of his classmates, Tim insults Mr. Jones, the one teacher who has wanted to help. Tim doesn't know why he did this. It was just always there, a rage born of some dark history, one his dad cannot explain. His uncle tries though—it's about some crazy stuff going down when he and Tim's dad were young, living on the farm. In a fight with some gangbangers, Tim's rage boils over. He ends up slamming Chucky's head with a rock. He steals his phone and carries it, like an albatross, throughout the summer. He wants to run, to hide, to get revenge, to be free. Maybe Mr. Jones will understand? Tim wants his life to matter. Donovan Mixon is a jazz guitarist and a former Berklee College of Music professor. He moved to Chicago in 2010 after an extended sojourn teaching in Italy and Turkey. Ahgottahandleonit is his first novel.

Awards and Accomodations

2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award

2 reviews for Ahgottahandleonit

  1. Kirkus Reviews
    An existential examination of the cycle of violence.

  2. School Library Journal
    A gritty novel with a relatable protagonist and lots of appeal.

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