Urban Grit
A Guide to Street Lit
by Megan Honig
December 2010, 251pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-59158-857-3
$55, £41, 46€, A79

Gritty, raw, and controversial, “street lit” has exploded in popularity in recent years. However, it is still little understood by mainstream review media and librarians. Where can you find it? How do you connect with fans of this genre? Can it be used successfully in library programs, and what about censorship issues?

Offering more than 400 street-lit titles, this guide helps readers' advisors and other librarians to better understand the genre and collect and recommend titles ranging from romance and coming-of-age stories to action stories and erotica.

Street lit is also known to its enthusiastic readers as “urban fiction,” “ghetto lit,” “hip-hop lit,” and “gangsta lit.” No matter what it’s called, it remains one of the most significant and increasingly popular forms of modern literature.

This text provides a much-needed resource guide to this vibrant genre. In this title, more than 400 entries appear in eleven chapters, each focusing on a different subgenre of street lit. The author has organized titles by popular subgenres and themes, such as prison life and urban erotica, to help librarians more easily identify read-alikes. Urban Grit: A Guide to Street Lit also contains practical tips on integrating these books into an existing collection or library program and meeting challenges that may arise in the process.


  • More than 400 titles fully described and organized according to subgenre, making it easy to identify read-alikes
  • Explains the history and evolution of the street lit genre and its appeal to readers
  • Contains a comprehensive bibliography of core collections for adults and young adults in public libraries that lists street lit titles by theme
Megan Honig is an independent librarian and writer; former young adult materials specialist at the New York Public Library, New York, NY; and former editor of Young Adult Library Services (YALS).


"Recommended for professional reading shelves as well as for researchers who will find value in Honig’s defining the genre. This should be the definitive choice on the subject."—Library Journal, April 15, 2011

"Players, hustlers, and ride-or-die chicks: finally, a readers’-advisory guide to street lit. In this addition to the Genreflecting Advisory Series, New York City librarian Honig discusses street lit’s origins and appeal and lists more than 400 works of urban fiction in 11 themes, from coming-of-age to erotica. . . . A welcome resource for librarians getting up to speed on the genre."—Booklist, April 1, 2011

"Urban Grit will take anyone into an expert level of understanding the genre."—School Library Journal, May 1, 2011
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