Julia Raucci’s Handbook for Boys Blog: Duke Talks About Success- Loonie G

“…Pick your own road in life. You don’t want someone else picking it for you, and you sure don’t want to stumble down some road by accident.” This is a statement Duke made on page 75 and 76. Duke has some real insight on life and how to live yours to the best of your ability. Duke has seen a lot of boys come in and out of his barber shop, some who have not straightened up and ends up in prison. This is not something that Duke wants to Jimmy. Duke teaches Jimmy that in order to be successful, hence the title “Duke Talks About Success”, he must follow his own road. Be a leader, not a follower. Followers don’t get anywhere and it always ends in trouble.

Duke teached Jimmy three rules to success. 1. Figure out what success means to you. It is different for everyone. 2. Find out what work you need to do to obtain that success. 3. Go out and work. Work hard. Keep that idea of success in your mind and do everything you need to in order to reach it. It might be difficult, but just as Mister M said, “I have to say, it was worth it.”

The next quote that stuck out to me was in Tools. It is on page 100 and said by Duke. He said, ” reading is just one of those tools you need to use.” This quote is so important, and not just because this is a literacy class! I know so many students, including my middle school self, that saw reading as boring and just a chore to do. When homework was to simply read in our textbooks, that somehow translated to “no homework” in the mind of a middle school student. I believe that hearing a statement like this from such a relatable and cool person, such as Duke, will have a positive effect on the reader. Reading is so important to education and success of these students, and this book does an excellent job getting that message across without blatantly saying, “you have to read!”

Page 106 and 107 are extremely educational and talks about sensitive topics with an open and nonjudgmental mind. This is an important lesson to teach kids, to try and not be judgmental. These pages talk about drug use and addictive behaviors. The characters in this book take into account that the drug users are more than just that. They are humans. They are people who went through a rough patch and made a bad decision. Regardless of how the drug use starts, whether it be frustration or experimentation, “the name of the game is addiction”, states Dr. Colfax. This book discusses addiction in a way that does not seem rude to those who have an addiction problem or know someone who has an addiction problem, but it also does not promote it or make it seem like not a big deal. It is a very bad decision and the book makes that clear without judgment.

The last chapter I will be discussing in this blog is Loonie G. The character, Jimmy, is understanding his place in the world and starting to own to up his mistakes. As we can see here, he doesn’t make the nicest remarks to Kevin in the barber shop, but apologizes to Duke about it later in the chapter. This is a big moment for Jimmy, as he is developing his character and beginning to become the man that Duke wants him to be. Kevin, on the other hand, is not showing many signs of this transformation yet in the book.

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