Friday, November 7, 2014

My review of the book FatherHoodlum: Chronicles of a Prison Dad, by Michael B. Jackson

If you ever wondered what it was like to live in public housing in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey during the sixties and seventies as a young African American male than this book is for you. In spite of the presence of loving and responsible parents, the central character in 
The narration in the book is both humorous and somber as the life of fictional character of Lamont B. Moody tries to avoid blocking his blessings and making something of himself. As an individual who also lived in public housing for a period of time growing up many of the stories in this novel depict real life examples of events and tragedies that could befall a young man in that era and environment. Kudos to Michael B. Jackson for bringing to life a period of time that many African Americans can look back on and celebrate the lives of those who “made it out” while mourning those who did not make it. Some unscathed and others through adversity. All of us from that era know a “Lamont B. Moody.” Read the book to learn if he “made it out.” I know I was on pins and needles to find out if he made it. - Rodney Brown

Rodney Brown

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: FatherHoodlum: Chronicles of a Prison Dad by Michael B. Jackson

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Book Review 
FatherHoodlum: Chronicles of a Prison Dad  
by Michael B. Jackson

Michael B. Jackson’s first work of fiction is one of inspiration and hope amidst a backdrop of the harsh realities of the streets.   

Fatherhoodlum successfully draws the reader into Lamont Moody’s world from the very beginning and then holds the reader’s interest until the very end of the novel. 

Set in Newark New Jersey teenager Lamont Moody has just crashed his dad’s car after a late night ride out with friends …sneaking the keys and taking the car without permission.  The storyline hones in on Lamont’s journey into addiction and crime to support his heroin habit.  Jackson does a superb job of keeping the story moving and the reader interested in Lamont’s path.

When I went to prison for the first time LJ (Lamont’s son) was only a few months old… When paroled he was two.

Through a series of challenging events, Lamont’s focus becomes very clear that he has to dedicate his efforts toward saving his son from the grips of the streets and the very real pipeline to prison which funnels urban youth into the prison system, starting as early as the third grade.

Lamont finds that he is able to pull from lessons he learned from his father to help with raising LJ.  

I wasn’t afraid of my father, and I didn’t want my son to fear me.

The possibilities of hope, success and positive transformation suggested by Fatherhoodlum are immense and important. This book can appeal to young adults as well as adults of any age.  I would especially recommend this book for young people who have been incarcerated or in juvenile facilities because it provides an avenue of strategy and direction for obtaining a positive life track. 

Jackson gives guidance to parents through this novel which encourages them to be present and proactive in their child’s life.

Through this quick moving story Jackson poignantly manages to convey the following:

-       A “so-called” problem kid can achieve great things when they have a positive man in their lives.
-       Being an ex-con doesn’t mean that you are condemned to a life of failure, hopelessness and crime.

This novel finds its way into your heart and leaves you with a sense of endearment.

Book Review by Cyntra D. Scott
Cyntra D. Scott is a freelance writer who has been published through a variety of nationwide publications including Black Men Magazine and Today’s Black Woman.