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Animals I Want To See: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Projects and Defying the Odds
A lyrical coming-of-age story set in the projects of Toledo, Ohio, Animals I Want To See explores themes of identity, ambition, religion, and friendship—often across racial and social lines—as it spotlights a family of fourteen and tracks a boy’s journey from a child janitor with big dreams to a teenage petty criminal to a student at Yale and Harvard.
On Bronson Street, in the projects of Toledo, Ohio, in a crowded house occupied by a family of fourteen, Tom Seeman starts a very important list. Just as the trash-strewn field in his backyard is home to a treasure-trove of wild animals, Tom’s list, “Animals I Want To See One Day,” is home to dreams of adventure in places far away from the downtrodden neighborhood where he lives. But for all its hardship and crime, Bronson Street is also something of a mythical street, populated by unforgettable people who share food, protect each other, and give surprising gifts of beauty and merriment, proving that the bonds of community and friendship (often across racial and social lines) can bridge any divide and transcend what many of us are taught to believe about each other.
A luminous coming-of-age memoir that shimmers with countless marvels, Animals I Want To See tracks Tom Seeman’s journey from a child janitor with big ambitions to a teenage petty criminal to a student at Yale and Harvard. At once a meditation on finding wonder in unlikely places, an ode to a heroic mother who makes the seemingly impossible possible, and an exploration of what it means to create our own identities, this is a heartwarming, thought-provoking, ultimately uplifting book for all readers.