Born in New York, NY. Education: B.A., 1996; New School University, M.F.A., 2005. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, piano, amateur filmmaking, the Internet, volunteering as a writing tutor with NAACP ACT-SO program.
Child protective specialist and crisis intervention social worker in the Bronx, NY, 1996-2000; freelance writer, 2000—; part-time college professor, 2005—; has also worked as a jewelry salesperson, book store clerk, creative writing teacher, video production teacher, and writing consultant for the New York City Housing Authority.
Tyrell (novel), PUSH (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to anthologies, including This Is PUSH: New Voices from the Edge, edited by David Levithan, PUSH, 2007.
Coe Booth traces her interest in writing to the second grade, when she started writing "novels" that were handwritten stories on loose-leaf notebook paper stapled together, as she related on her Web site. This interest persisted into adulthood, while Booth earned an M.F.A. in creative writing and became a full-time writer. Among the many jobs she held was one as a child protective specialist and crisis intervention social worker helping teenagers and families in difficult situations. "A lot of the teens I worked with were homeless, involved with gangs, or addicted to drugs," Booth stated. "Some were victims of child abuse and neglect." These experiences form the basis of her debut novel, Tyrell, in which Booth strives to offer readers a "realistic portrayal of what it's like to grow up in hard circumstances, especially when you have only yourself to count on."
Fifteen-year-old Tyrell is a young man and high-school dropout facing difficult circumstances and premature entry into adulthood in his inner-city world. Despite the outside pressures that push him to do otherwise, Tyrell tries to lead a better life. The son of a drug-dealing father, Tyrell does not have a strong role model in his life, but he does not wish to follow in his father's footsteps. He resolves instead to put his talents as a deejay to work in order to provide for his family through honest means. "Inner-city teens and those curious about that world will find it memorably depicted here," predicted Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick. Booth's "first novel is heartbreakingly realistic," and the "immediate first-person narrative is pitch perfect: fast, funny, and anguished," commented Hazel Rochman approvingly in Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Tyrell, p. 57.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Tyrell, p. 900.
Kliatt, January, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of Tyrell, p. 10.
New York Times Book Review, November 12, 2006, Ned Vizzini, "A Bronx Tale," review of Tyrell, p. 39.
Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2006, review of Tyrell, p. 61.
School Library Journal, November, 2006, Caryl Soriano, review of Tyrell, p. 129; February, 2007, Rick Margolis, "A Bronx Tale: First-Time Author Coe Booth Follows a Teen's Struggle to Stay Alive," interview with Coe Booth, p. 32.
Coe Booth Home Page,http://www.coebooth.com (April 2, 2007).
Coe Booth Web log,http://www2.blogger.com/ (April 2, 2007).
Just Another Bronx Girl,http://coebooth.livejournal.com (April 2, 2007), Coe Booth LiveJournal page.