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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Street Knowledge

I am not going to pretend to know about urban street culture beyond what I observe simply living in New York City, but I can add to the review below by emphasizing that Street Knowledge is an incredibly handsome book. The cover is thick and multi-dimensional, the title a cutout. It is printed on quality paper — it is heavy. The many, many photographs are beautifully reproduced. And its global reach makes it unique.

Teens will be drawn to the book by its cover. Once they open it, the photographs will hold their interest. It is likely different from any book they have encountered before.

The publisher has posted a short promotional video on Youtube.

ADZ, King. Street Knowledge. 320p. Overlook. 2011. Tr $35. ISBN 978-1-59020477-1. LC number unavailable.  Street Knowledge

Adult/High School–King Adz, a British expert in all things street culture, has compiled a slice of street life spanning the globe and more than 25 years. As the author alerts readers right from the start, the book is in no way exhaustive, but reflects just a sampling of the artists, musicians, cities, people, and fashion that he has experienced and that continue to influence what is known as “street culture.” Visually this may seem to include what is commonly known as graffiti (think Banksy, who is included), but the brief encyclopedic entries attempt to show so much more. Each entry includes beautiful full-color photographs, making the book fabulous for browsing. However, this isn’t just a boring A-to-Z encyclopedia. There are hyperlinks on nearly every page to related websites–in fact, this book begs to be read with web access nearby. And although its primary organization strategy is alphabetical, there is a chronological path through the book as well. Sometimes the author’s point of view is almost too strong (some of his assumptions about New York are questionable), but the intended audience of artists and culture buffs is going to spend more time with the photographs and the jump-off links than analyzing the text.–Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.