Adam Rapp Buffalo Tree, The

ISBN 13: 9780064407113

Buffalo Tree, The

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9780064407113: Buffalo Tree, The

Clipping hoodies changed Sura's life. He's shipped off to Hamstock, a juvenile detention center that's worse than most. At the Stock they don't. try to keep juvies till they reform. They just keep guys till they feel like letting them go.

Sura and his patchmate, a kid named Coly Jo, look out for each other and try to evade the Stock's sadistic games. But things turn bad fast for Coly Jo, and Sura helplessly watches his friend's descent into hell, determined to escape with his own body and spirit intact -- if he can.

Thirteen-year old Sura--intelligent, reckless, sensitive, and adrift--is serving a six-month sentence at Hamstock Juvenille Detention Center. Coping wiht the brutal pressures of life inside "the Stock," Sura helplessly watches his doomed bunkmate, Coly Jo, fall prey to the worst excesses of the prison system, and determines to escape with his own body and spirit intac -- if he can.

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About the Author:

Adam Rapp is a playwright as well as a novelist. His work has been produced and developed by the New York Theatre Workshop, the Steppenwolf Theater Company, New York City's Public Theatre, and The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Mr. Rapp lives in New York City. The Buffalo Tree is his second novel.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In a distinctive, compelling narrative, Sura, 12, chronicles life at a juvenile detention home, where he has been sent for stealing hood ornaments. Although the novel is written largely in street slang, Sura's voice is sympathetic and sensitive, making vivid the sometimes horrid, sometimes touching details of life in the home. Most absorbing are the characters, from the sad (roommate Coly Jo, busted for breaking into people's homes and watching them sleep) to the cold (the abusive administrator, Dean Petty) to the ridiculous (the well-meaning but clueless counselor, Deacon Bob Fly) and the frightening (bullies Boo and Hodge). Simple observations heighten the heartbreaking humiliation of Sura's roommate; while Coly Joe is tragically beaten down, physically and emotionally, Sura learns to stand up for himself and value life on the outside, home with his mother. The affecting glimpses into the lives of some of the offenders are authentic offerings of understanding, utterly free of preaching. Rapp (Missing the Piano, 1994) writes in earthy but adept language in this dark and stirring novel. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright 1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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