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In pop culture, YADA-YADA usually means "blah, blah, blah" or "more of the same." For this blog, YADA-YADA is an acronym meaning "Young Adult Discussions About Young Adult-Designed Art." Check out my summaries and reviews of teen media. Chime in and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog No. 25-The Code by Mawi Asgedom

YA Nonfiction – Self-Help

Title: The Code: The 5 Secrets of Teen Success
Author: Mawi Asgedom

Bibliographic Information:
Reading level: Ages 9-12
School & Library Binding: 144 pages
Publisher: Turtleback (September 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0613705769
ISBN-13: 978-0613705769


Reader’s Annotation:
Mawi Asgedom escaped Ethiopia when he was three years old, immigrated to the United States where he was on welfare and people looked down on his, and eventually was accepted and went to Harvard University—all because of his positive attitude and sheer will to do it. Reading this book makes everyone believe that the only obstacles in life are the ones we make ourselves.

Plot Summary:
The Code is a book about inner and outer goals, dreams, morals, thoughts, and actions. In an easy-to-read format, the Code tells all readers how to get what you really want, and how to make sure that you don’t abandon your goals, despite the biggest obstacles in your path. In between all of the wonderful and practical advice is the story of Maw’s own life—a struggle to get out of war-torn Ethiopia, and to survive in a prejudiced and challenging United States as immigrants from Africa. This is a great book for everyone who needs guidance-- or those who continually make excuses for not accomplishing what they set out to achieve in life. READ THIS BOOK and be inspired!

Critical Evaluation:
As someone who is not in the target demographic, I still found this book to be helpful. I think all teen readers will get a lot out of it—if they take Mr. Asgedom’s ideas to heart. This book contains good and practical advise for all teens, but you must read it and think a lot about what the author has to day. No amount of hard work is going to be reduced by reading this book, but it will give all teens insights into the benefits of hard work, and help keep them going when the going gets especially tough. The five secrets are something we call all use despite our ages—and move forward with grace, dignity and a renewed sense of wonder.

Reading level/Interest Age:
Teens from the age of 13 through 19 will find wisdom and practical advice in this book.

Information about the Author:
When Mawi Asgedom was only three years old, he fled Ethiopia upon his mother’s back with his brother Tewolde and his father, and became a refugee in a Sudanese camp for three years. At age seven he came to the United States, struggling to overcome financial and cultural difficulties. He and his family survived on welfare for a few years, and he felt inferior because of it. But he worked very hard, and eventually earned a full scholarship to Harvard University.
In 1999—the year he graduated—he actually delivered the commencement address! His first book, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard was widely acclaimed. In 2003, his second book The Code: 5 Strategies of Teen Success was published.

Curriculum Ties:
A great book for units on empowerment, or career development.

Booktalking Ideas:
What if you had to escape your home with only the clothes on your back and fell to a new country where everyone looked down on you? Would you succumb to despair, or would you lift yourself up to accomplish all that you could? The author of this book did just that, and he wasn’t to show all teens how to overcome any obstacle that gets in the way of their dreams.

Challenge Issues: None.

Why I Included This Book:
It is another that has been on my personal shelf for years. I fianlly read it, and it even helped me—someone who is far beyond her teen years Imagine what you can do witty the information he provides – and more time that I have let in which to accomplish your dreams!

Cover image courtesy of: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/teens_books_9780316736893.htm

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