Ron Thompson is an award-winning educator, curriculum writer and business owner who grew up in poverty in Seattle’s Yesler Terrace housing project. He chose higher education as his path to get out of the projects. It took all his creativity and passion to succeed. In spite of the struggle, he managed to pay for his university tuition and books by performing as a professional magician. His career spanned from that of a high school science teacher to adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University. Ron has received two of America’s most prestigious awards for exceptional teaching and writing science curricula. He resides on Mercer Island and conducts workshops for science teachers throughout the nation. He is also the author of Biology: As Scientific Inquiry and is co-author of Heath Biology Laboratory Investigations, and numerous science texts. The Boys from the Projects is his most recent publication and foray into narrative nonfiction.
The Boys from the Projects is a true story about twelve teenagers, who grow up in a Seattle’s Yesler Terrace housing project in the 1950s. Challenged by adversity and destined for lives of crime, they form lifelong bonds of friendship. Their creativity, humor and antics develop their character and shape their future. One is African American, one Japanese, another is Filipino, one Native American, and eight white guys, including the author. Two are Jewish.
The boys band together in high school to combat prejudice and poverty and support one another as they struggle to overcome tremendous adversity. For a season, they resort to crime for excitement and gain. Three times, the author narrowly escapes an early death. Despite poor choices, their mind-boggling antics are humorous and informative.
They learn that adversity is not a demon to be feared, but rather a crucible that forms personality and produces strength of character, maturity and success. All make it out of the projects and become effective adults. Some experience remarkable success. The story is a triumph of the human spirit over adversity, prejudice and crime.
Link to the book website is here.