Chris Lynch Sins of the Fathers

ISBN 13: 9780060740382

Sins of the Fathers

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9780060740382: Sins of the Fathers

It's your team or your family or your neighborhood or your church, or maybe just yourself and two other guys. But you have to be able to count on each other, or you can't count on anything at all.

My guys are Skitz Fitzsimmons, who's daffy as a box of frogs, and Hector Fossas, who could pass for Jesus' stronger, tougher, holier brother. I'd stack my guys against anybody's.

The tribe that runs everything in my parish is the Franchise: Fathers Blarney, Mullarkey, and Shenanigan. One's an old blowhard, one's a nasty piece of work, and one's the coolest priest on wheels. Except as soon as you think you know all that, you find out you don't know anything.

They're in charge of right and wrong, but it seems like they make it up as they go along.

They want to break us apart, because of what we see and what we say. So I guess the question is, can the rest of the tribe wait when one guy's falling behind?

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About the Author:

Chris Lynch is a National Book Award finalist and the author of many highly acclaimed books for young adults, including Who the Man and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Freewill; Iceman, Shadow Boxer, Gold Dust, and Slot Machine, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults; and Extreme Elvin.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up–Three teens–friends since their first day of Catholic school–tease, pummel, and support one another in this story set in a working-class Boston diocese. The narrator, Drew, like his dad, is a skeptical observer of the ways that power plays out in the classroom and church; fatherless Skitz is one of those kids who is not going to stay in the system much longer; and Hector–well, something is really eating at Hector, the devout Altar Boy of the Year. The three have vowed to stand by one another, come what may. What comes is a growing awareness of the personal problems of the men who are supposed to be shepherding them through adolescence. Fathers Blarney, Mullarkey, and Shenanigan, as the boys call them, have an inordinate hold over their lives, both in school and beyond. The charming and disarming Father Mullarkey is a bit of a renegade and the two older priests engage in petty cruelties and power games. The evocation of parish life and parochial-school experience is pitch perfect, as are the boys ribald camaraderie and sports obsession. As Drews awareness of the priests fallibility grows, so does the eerie sense that one of them is harming Hector in secret–and that the abuse may be sexual. This vivid, fast-paced, hard-hitting novel is no diatribe; instead it conveys with texture and conviction the damage that young people can be subjected to when adult influence goes unchecked. Overriding even this sad truth is the memorable depiction of the boys friendship and the redemptive power of their deep commitment to one another.–Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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Chris Lynch
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