“Ray was bigger but José was boss.” From his killer opening line, author Paul Griffin unfolds the gritty world of two fourteen-year-olds squatting in an abandoned stationhouse in New York City's Ten Mile River park. Ray--brawny, sensitive and intelligent--and José--shrewd and charming--have survived foster care and “juvie” together and are closer than brothers. Without school, family or responsibilities, they eke out a life by stealing and picking up odd jobs. As their lives ebb and flow with danger, new loves and running from the law, will Ray’s friendship with José remain firm?
Griffin’s first novel (as with his later efforts “Stay With Me” and “The Orange Houses”), is smart and dialogue-rich, his characters intelligent, independent outcasts navigating maturing relationships and newly adult decisions. This, a slim urban fiction offering, won’t satisfy those looking for a meaty story, but Griffin’s talent for authentic dialog and memorable characters floods the book with heart and a whole ‘lotta soul. Ages 12+
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