What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse

What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse

by Michael Rosen

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Michael Rosen's seven-year-old son Ripton one day decided to join a pick-up game of baseball with some older kids in the park. At the end of the game Ripton asked his new friends if they wanted to come back to his house for snacks and Nintendo. Over time, five of the boys—all black and Hispanic, from the impoverished neighborhood across the park—became a fixture in the Rosens' home and eventually started referring to Michael and his wife Leslie as their parents. The boys began to see the Rosens as more than just an arcade of middle-class creature comforts; the Rosens began to learn the full stories of the boys' fractured lives.

Soon Michael and Leslie decided that their responsibility, like that of parents everywhere, was to help all their boys get a start in life. So began a turbulent learning experience all round, beautifully and movingly depicted in What Else But Home. It's a quest to escape the previously inevitable, a test of the resilience of a newly assembled family, a love story unlike any other, and a celebration of the fact that, whatever our differences, baseball and commitment can help us bridge them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786746170
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 07/28/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 633 KB

About the Author

Michael Rosen, a community organizer, is the author of Turning Words, Spinning Worlds. He is a former real estate developer and investor, former CEO of a Wall Street firm, former CEO of a publicly traded company destroyed in the events of September 11, 2001, and a former assistant professor at New York University. He lives in New York, and with his wife, Leslie Gruss, helps raise “the Rosen family extended.”

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What Else But Home: Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So Rosen writes the way he parents: often too caught up in the emotional "rightness" of the moment to consider basic principles, or the long-term implications of his immediate decisions. The STORY is there, obviously; what could make for a more tear-inducing premise than the tale of 5 inner-city black and Latino boys whose lives are changed by, and who change the lives of, a wealthy white New York couple? It's quite sad, then, that the writing doesn't do the reality justice. I have heard Michael Rosen speak and he is very eloquent, very forthcoming with his shortcomings and mistakes as a sort of adoptive parent to the boys.That being said, I return to the fact of the matter that the book is just not that well written. It didn't move me to tears, though I thought it should've, and was expecting it to. Scenes play out in a jerky manner; dialogue spills all over the place, confusingly and seemingly purposelessly other than being a vague attempt to grasp the boys' vernacular; and admittedly sometimes everyone behaves in abominable ways. I note this here not to criticize their mistakes and poor decisions, for, fiction or nonfiction, it is not the reader's right to question the decisions of the "characters." Poorly written, however, a character may not garner my sympathy, and then I really am just annoyed at the whole lot of them, which happened a lot when I was reading this book.All in all, this book had good intentions but did not carry them out in the best way it could have. This is one of the rare cases where I'd recommend keeping very adamantly in mind the fact that this is based on a true story. Thinking of the characters, especially the boys, as real people makes the clumsy translation from life to paper more forgivable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where Else But Home is the magnificent true story about a family, which came to be because the Rosens opened their hearts, unconditionally, to seven boys. Two were formally adopted and the remaining five became their sons also. The Rosen's were present and loving in the daily lives of the boys. Picture a physician wife and an "intellectual" father learning truths about race, class, fear, trust, love in their penthouse home....being taught by five boys from project/subsidized housing, lacking fathers, living month to month amongst ganglife, drugs and death. Barriers were broken, trust was born ....as was this special family. With present parents and a good education, SO MUCH IS POSSIBLE! A great read and proof doing the right thing CAN make a difference !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MsKTS More than 1 year ago
Overall, this book was very good. I read 86% or 12 of the 14 chapters in one day. I will say, however that some chapters should have been shorter. It was not difficult for me to read, but I suspect that some will have problems given the use of ebonic language. I think this is a good book for those who are inquisitive and have an open mind. If you are very community oriented and love giving back without question, this one is for you! I will say that I don't think the parents in this book set a good example for anyone who is thinking about adopting children or anyone who my take a child under their wing and mentor him/her. Children need to be taught responsibility and that they won't get everything they ask for. I also think that the parents in this story should have begun correcting the "bigger boys" from the beginning rather than allowing them to continue to use fowl language around the younger children who eventually started using the language as well. I'm glad that the Rosens shared their story with the world. But it also shows you that discrimination is still alive and well and it won't cease until people step outside of their confort zones and try to understand where other people are coming from.