Books by NAMI Friends and Family

The Good Cousin Who Lives on 18th Street intertwines past and present in a touching and multi-layered story of two friends, Rakim and Romelo, and their friends and family including the pivotal character Pito. Mentally disabled, Pito is sweet and child-like. One day he is left alone to play his favorite game in the neighborhood arcade. A series of interactions results in his brutal beating at the hands of gangsters. Rakim, Romelo and Pito live in and have been raised in a community riddled by gun and gang violence. The beating of Pito is both cause and effect. The event results from a series of events in the pasts of Rakim and Romelo. How Rakim and Romelo choose to avenge the beating of Pito will determine their own future, as well as that of many in their community.

Instead of being defeated by madness, the Baltic Street Advocacy, Employment, and Housing staff in New York City built an agency that understands how to help those diagnosed with mental illness. In Madness: Heroes Returning from the Front Lines, author Joanne L. Forbes shares the story of Baltic Street Aeh, one of the oldest and largest peer-run organizations in the United States-a unique agency whose success stems from knowing what it takes to come back from madness and how to show others the way. With more than forty years of experience in the mental health field, Forbes delivers a critical, yet sensitive, look into the psychiatric world through the eyes of those lured out of madness. The stories narrate how people escaped the cycle of repeated hospitalizations, lack of social support, poverty, stigma, and despair to build lasting relationships, homes, marriages, children, and contentment.

Boone: A Novel by Robert Philip Crane
Boone Boyd learned a thing or two about odds at a very early age. In the hands of a gambling-addicted father, Boone and his best friend, Ronnie Birch, are left to develop lax morals and a unique view of what the adult world is all about. As Boone graduates from looking for his missing mother in his father’s latest girlfriends to becoming fascinated with his best friend’s older sister, two thugs set their sights on making the boys’ lives miserable. Although their attitudes don’t serve them well at school, Boone and Ronnie put their heads together to gain what small victories they can over their tormentors. The duo’s difficulties and choices follow them through their teenage years, twenties, and thirties, where the scars of their youths and the decisions they made in the past have come to shape their lives.
Boone delivers a hearty meal of psychological depth, twists and turns, and quirky wit, as two friends struggle forward despite having the odds stacked up against them.