Beacon Press: Fist Stick Knife Gun
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Fist Stick Knife Gun

A Personal History of Violence

Author: Geoffrey Canada   Illustrated by: Jamar Nicholas

The brilliant graphic adaptation of a backlist classic by the renowned activist and children’s advocate Oprah Winfrey called “an angel from God“

Long before President Barack Obama praised his work as “an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children,” and First Lady Michelle Obama called him “one of my heroes,” Geoffrey Canada was a small and scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where “sidewalk boys” learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, knife, and, finally, gun. In a stunning pairing, acclaimed comics creator Jamar Nicholas presents Canada’s raw and riveting account, one of the most authentic and important true stories of urban violence ever told.
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“Geoffrey Canada’s realistic yet hopeful voice finds fresh expression through the comic style of Jamar Nicholas. Canada’s account of his childhood and the role that violence played in shaping his experiences provides hard-won and crucial lessons.” —Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University

“Jamar Nicholas is a master of his craft—his drawings are full of life and truly stunning.” —Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

“I wish every city had a Geoffrey Canada.” —President Bill Clinton


Review: Publisher's Weekly - September 1, 2010
“This is exactly the sort of broadly appealing and gripping nonfiction graphic novel that librarians need to be adding to their shelves.”

  • Read an interview with Canada in the School Library Journal

  • Read profile of Jamar Nicolas in the Philadelphia Daily News

View the Teacher's Guide

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Fist Stick Knife Gun

ISBN: 978-080704449-0
Publication Date: 9/14/2010
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $15.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.