What Else But Home

Seven Boys and an American Journey Between the Projects and the Penthouse

Regular Price $10.99

Regular Price $13.99 CAD

Regular Price $10.99

Regular Price $13.99 CAD

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On Sale

Jul 28, 2009

Page Count

384 Pages




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.

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Ron Suskind, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of A Hope in the Unseen
“Many people talk about what they can do to reach across divides, to create a better world. The Rosens didn't just talk -- they plunged, headlong, into an extraordinary adventure of shared purpose and unflinching commitment. Michael Rosen takes readers on a death-defying journey -- gritty, surprising, funny and fiercely honest. What was defied? The death of hope. What we're now graced with? An inspring book about what one family can accomplish.”

Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Carry Me Home
“For Michael Rosen to have lived this story would've been sufficient. For him to be able to write about it with such beauty and grit, such delicacy and bluntness, seems like a gift of destiny. What Else But Home renders our country's defining forces of race and class--and immigration--down to the society's molecular unit, the family, and shows us what we have become and might become, in all our heroic messiness. This is a valentine to America's diversity--and indeed to every enterprise of courage, chaos and love that results in magic.”

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