In “Painting Pictures,” Corey D. James delivers a gripping narrative on the lifestyle and expectations of disadvantaged youth growing up in urban neighborhoods. With a collection of authentic, inspiring, and often heart-wrenching stories, James does what is sorely needed, which is to shed a light on the dire circumstances these youths face daily.

James immerses his audience in life on the streets and skillfully crafts a poignant message of hope, strength and persistence while maintaining a real-world view of difficult situations. As such, James’ view is not guided by blind optimism; it is guided by years of experiences serving the urban youth population - an experience littered with tragedy and triumph. However, throughout the narrative, James rallies a powerful call to action and provides endless encouragement in the important mission of advocating for urban youth.  

Painting Pictures” is an eye-opening and engaging read, crafted with wonderful imagery and metaphors that make it accessible to any audience. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this book, but chief among them is that we cannot abandon or give up on the next generation. We all have a role to play in breaking the cycles. So, for anyone looking to be informed on the existential struggles youth face in urban neighborhoods, or for anyone ready to answer the call and contribute to breaking generational cycles, then you must read “Painting Pictures!”

-Timothy Longman, Youth Advocate & Adjunct Professor at Kean University