A classic. A very depressing classic.
Bryon, the poor kid growing up in a place where fighting is a hobby, is forced through terrible life changes that make him question himself and the brother he always looked up to. Hinton creates voices for her characters that are unbelievably raw and honest, and her writing, though breaking every grammar rule possible, is excellent. The plot and pacing work together perfectly to create the best emotional involvement in the reader. The end was as dramatic as it was traumatic. It wasn't my favorite kind of story, but I can't deny its merit.
Because of the more mature mindset and lifestyle of the characters--drugs, alcohol, muggings, gun-fights--this is probably best for older readers.
Estimated Reading Level: 7th grade