Paula Fox Monkey Island

ISBN 13: 9780780719422

Monkey Island

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9780780719422: Monkey Island
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A story about the tough and frightening world of New York's homeless seen through the eyes of Clay, an 11-year-old boy abandoned by his mother. the author won the American Book Award for "A Place Apart" and the Newberry Medal for "The Slave Dancer".

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From the Publisher:

Eleven-year-old Clay Garrity is on his own. His father lost his job and left the family. Now Clay's mother is gone from their welfare hotel.

Clay is homeless and out on the streets of New York. In the park he meets two homeless men. Buddy and Calvin become Clay's new family during those harsh winter weeks. But the streets are filled with danger and despair.

If Clay leaves the streets he may never find his parents again. But if he stays on the streets he may not survive at all.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- Eleven-year-old Clay Garrity's family had been what most people would consider an average family--until the magazine his father worked for went out of business and he couldn't find another job over the next year. Clay then experienced the gradual decline from that normal existence to one of abandonment by his father, the move to a welfare hotel and, at the beginning of the story, the disappearance of his mother who, with the added burden of a difficult pregnancy, is unable to cope with the daily struggle for survival. Clay eventually comes to a small park scornfully called "Monkey Island" for the homeless who live there. Here he is taken in by two men who share the wooden crate that offers them some shelter from the cold November winds. These three become a sort of family, holding on to some sense of humanity in a brutal and brutalizing world. For all of its harshness, Monkey Island is also a romanticized view of the world. Although Clay is not spared the hunger, fear, illness, and squalor of the streets, there is still a distancing from the more immediate types of violence that exist there. He is always on the edge of such danger, but no incidents actually touch him. In the end, it is pneumonia that brings him back into the social services system. After ten days in the hospital, the boy is placed in a foster home and shortly thereafter is reunited with his mother and baby sister in a conclusion that readers desire but that may strain credibility. This is a carefully crafted, thoughtful book, and one in which the flow of language both sustains a mood of apprehension and encourages readers to consider carefully the plight of the homeless, recognizing unique human beings among the nameless, faceless masses most of us have learned not to see. --Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Paula Fox
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