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Nearly a year after his arrest and subsequent conviction for drug possession, Jim Reid is struggling to rebuild his life. All he wants is a second chance, but it seems society will not allow him to forget the mistakes of his past. Battling unemployment, financial ruin, and his own personal demons, Jim realizes that he needs help. Instead of turning to the only one who can help, Jim begins to rely on his new friend, Smoke, a small time drug dealer who dreams of making it big.
Smoke promises Jim that he will find the solution to all of his problems in “the thug life” and teaches him how to navigate the underbelly of the inner-city. “The thug life” turns out to be much more than Jim bargained for. Ultimately, Jim finds himself trapped in Smoke’s perilous world with no way out, except one. But will Jim take it before it’s too late?
The School of Hard Knocks: The Re-education of Jim Reid is the second part of Lawrence Cherry’s Commencement saga. The series follows a group of young African-Americans who learn about, life, love, and faith and how to live a good life in an increasingly immoral society.