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Book Reviews and Other Media
October 2004

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx

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by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, 409 pp, $14, ISBN 0-7432-5443-0, New York, NY, Scribner, 2003.


Copyright 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2004

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(10):1019-1020. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.10.1019-b

But Mercedes (10 yo) had already had more than enough hardship and fear. . . . Her father was in prison. Terrifying seizures plagued her little sister. Drugs rendered the adults she loved incoherent. . . . Sadness threatened to engulf every corner if her anger couldn’t keep it at bay. Fear organized whole seasons of Mercedes’ experience, and she was probably still frightened: she just didn’t show it anymore.

As a general pediatrician in the South Bronx, trained to serve the underserved, I believed I understood the social issues that my patients encounter and how these impact their health. In her first book, LeBlanc has clearly demonstrated to me how much I am yet sheltered from the realities of my patients’ lives.

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