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On the run in a stolen car with a kidnapped baby in tow, Custis, Curl, and Boobie are three young people with deeply troubled pasts and bleak futures. As they struggle to find a new life for themselves, it becomes painfully clear that none of them will ever be able to leave the past behind. Yet for one, redemption is waiting in the unlikeliest of places. With the raw language of the street and lyrical, stream-of-consciousness prose, Adam Rapp hurtles the reader into a world of lost children, a world that is not for the faint of heart. Gripping, disturbing, and starkly illuminating, his hypnotic narration captures the voices of two damaged souls - a third speaks only through drawings - to tell a story of alienation, deprivation, and ultimately, the saving power of compassion.
Getting caught changed 12-year-old Sura's life. Now he's just struggling to survive in Hamstock, a juvenile detention center where he helplessly watches his friend's descent into hell.
: In a world where children under twelve are used as slave labor in subterranean mines, eleven-year-old Whensday Bluehouse struggles to survive the continuous poison rains and evade the ruthless Syndicate soldiers.
Eleven-year-old Blacky Brown reveals to Chicago's Children's Services that he has been sexually abused by his mother's boyfriend and is released into his mother's custody. Thus begins an alternately harrowing and hopeful story of a brave boy's attempts to come to grips with a grim reality. Blacky is helped at first by a classmate, Mary Jane, who has also been ostracized, and then by the gun that he buys easily from his sister's boyfriend.
When Mike's mother and sister go on tour with "Les Miserables," Mike's father and his new wife enroll Mike in St. Matthew's Military Academy where, facing brutality and ignorance, he learns to survive.
An award-winning writer and playwright hits the open road for a searing novel-in-letters about a street kid on a high-stakes trek across America.
Sixteen-year-old Steve struggles to make sense of his mother's terminal breast cancer and his brother's suicide.
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