Martin has been at Rikers for 5 months and counting, for steering. Each time he goes up for his trial, it's delayed. After this last time, he gets caught in the middle of a fight between two other inmates and gets his face sliced up for his trouble.
Because of his new injury, he's moved to another area of Rikers--where the inmates actually have class and maybe a little more freedom. All Martin wants to do is survive and get out. Until a teacher takes interest in him and convinces him there's more to life than the street and revenge.
A well-written and emotional story told from Martin's point of view. Everything in the book happened in real life and the author worked at Rikers High School. Martin's view isn't all that kind towards the employees and the jail, but the tone isn't nearly as bitter as it could be.