Push: A Novel


Author: Sapphire

Title: Push: A Novel

Genre: Urban

Publication date: 1996

Number of pages: 140

Geographical setting: Harlem, New York City

Time period: 1980s

Plot summary: Obese, failed student, physically and sexually abused, pregnant with second child, and 16 years old. A nightmare life, but this is Claireece Precious Jones’ life. Precious is still in junior high and struggling with a father who has raped her and fathered her two children and a mother who yells at her, beats her, and sexually abuses her. All seems lost for Precious, another victim of the ghettos of New York until she meets Blue Rain, an energetic, determined young teacher who has radical ideas about how to educate troubled youth. Precious finds a mentor in Ms. Rain and friends in her class. And she might just find her lost life and a lasting purpose.

Subject headings: Urban fiction — 20th century; Single African-American mothers; Child abuse victims — New York City

Appeal: compelling; dramatic; evocative; vivid; cinematic; violent, raw, sexually explicit; dark; jargon; lyrical; frank

3 terms that best describe this book: arresting; poetic; emotional

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Name: Jason J. Lamb


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