Show Them You’re Good by Jeff Hobbs

The bestselling, critically acclaimed, award-winning writer of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace gives a outstanding and transcendent work that intently follows 4 Los Angeles excessive college boys as they apply to college.Four teenage boys are excessive school seniors at very exceptional schools in the town of Los Angeles, the second biggest college district inside the country with nearly 700,000 students. Author Jeff Hobbs, writing with heart, sensitivity, and insight, stunningly captures the challenges and triumphs of being a young person confronting the future—each their very own and the cultures in which they live—in modern America. Combining complex social issues with the compelling enjoy of the individual, Hobbs takes us deep internal those boys’ worlds. The foursome includes Carlos, the younger son of undocumented delivery workers, who targets to observe in his older brother’s footsteps and attend an Ivy League college; Tio harbors extreme targets to end up an engineer no matter a father who doesn’t consider in him; Jon, dedicated member of the academic decathalon team, struggles to position distance between himself and his mother, who is suffocating him with her very own expectations; and Owen, raised in a rich family, can’t get critical approximately academics however is aware of he must. Filled with snap shots of secondary characters which include friends, peers, parents, teachers, and girlfriends, this masterwork of immersive journalism is both intimate and profound and destined to ignite conversations approximately class, race, expectations, cultural divides, or even the idea of fate. Hobbs’s portrayal of these young guys is not simplest revelatory and relevant, however also moving, eloquent, and indelibly powerful.


Drilling down into the second-biggest college district inside the country to polish an intimate mild on a few senior boys in two very different high colleges would had been a daunting task in less succesful hands. In Show Them You’re Good: A Portrait of Boys inside the City of Angels the Year Before College, Jeff Hobbs does it so nicely that those soon-to-be men may be for all time cast in the amber in their adolescence: slightly acquainted from the start and, finally, wholly unforgettable.

Ánimo Pat Brown (APB), one in all six Green Dot constitution schools created to remedy “poor and falling commencement statistics” inside the Los Angeles Unified School District, is thought for its high commencement and college matriculation rates. For its students, many from immigrant households struggling to benefit footholds in this country, APB is the rare path to opportunity.

Beverly Hills High School (BHHS) is rated in the pinnacle 10% of California schools, preserving forth in a town that was based as a whites-best covenant. Famous alumni include Betty White and Guns N’ Roses’ Slash. Its swim gym, in which the floor opens to show a swimming pool, made a memorable appearance inside the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.

From these schools, “separated with the aid of much more than the twenty-two miles of city pavement between them,” come the memories of Carlos, Tio, Luis and Byron at APB, and Owen, Sam, Harrison, Bennett and Jonah at BHHS. These young men have distinct backgrounds and aspirations, however they’re all enveloped inside the fog of the American higher education utility process.

Following them thru their senior year, Hobbs is allowed an unflinching take a look at the helping players of their lives, from Sam’s strict mom and Tio’s stricken father to Carlos’ brother at Yale and Owen’s bedridden mother. Harrison is obsessed with finding a Division I college wherein he can play football, regardless of the BHHS team’s perennial losing streak. Byron tells his Cornell interviewer that his intention is to be Iron Man.

How they each arrived at this pivotal point of their lives might not are expecting what takes place next, but it is our privilege, thanks to Hobbs, to observe them. Readers will come to care deeply about these students’ journeys.


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