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Reviewed by Dinorah Blackman for Readers' Favorite
A Rebel Comes of Age is a well-written story about the unusual life of a group of teenagers who are a part of a left-leaning movement. Angela Jones and her new friend Fabio decide to work on establishing a shelter for homeless teenagers. They enlist the help of three other teens and establish Freedom House in a building that used to be the Credit Union. They receive support from a few organizations, including the church across the street. All seems to be going well until their numbers increase. Inevitably this leads to an increase in problems and challenges. Freedom House attracts many who are not mature enough to live on their own and many who couldn’t care less about the vision of the founders. A number of difficult situations emerge that lead Angela on a path to self-discovery. Amidst deep anger, rebellion, rampant promiscuity, and the unavoidable task of growing up, Freedom House becomes steeped in political activism and differences in opinion regarding how the place should be run lead to a number of unusual events. When Angela becomes the victim of racism and bullying by the very teenagers she wants to help, she questions her commitment to the cause, but she eventually learns that change requires patience.
Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall is an amazing storyteller. The plot shares some often overlooked details that help the reader to form a mental picture of the plight of these young activists. The dialogues are written exactly as each character would speak which gives the impression of listening to the voices in one’s head. The story is based on a serious problem that is often ignored in our society. It’s the issue of teenagers that have left their homes, whether willingly or forced by circumstances. Life on the streets is not easy and Bramhall vividly describes the hardships these youngsters face and the way in which it affects and changes them. The author does a great job at exposing corruption, while at the same time honoring those individuals and organizations that are willing to protest and help those in need.