Jess Mowry. Way Past Cool (1992) 309 pp.
Gordon, age thirteen, is the leader of the Friends, a gang of young black boys who struggle to hold a few blocks of bleak, ragged turf in Oakland—known to the homeboys as Oaktown—California. When a more powerful sixteen-year-old drug dealer tries to set the Friends against their neighboring rival gang, the Crew, the dealer’s unwilling bodyguard emerges as the key player in a drama that illuminates America’s urban reality in a totally new way. Released as a motion picture in 2000.