Adam Rapp Little Chicago

ISBN 13: 9781886910720

Little Chicago

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9781886910720: Little Chicago
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Little Chicago opens in the office of Children’s Services, where 11-year-old Blacky Brown is being interviewed by a social worker trying to determine what has happened to him. His emotions are blocked at first, but then he reveals 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. Little Chicago is an unblinking look at the world of a child who has been neglected and abused. It portrays head-on the indifference and hostility of classmates, teachers, and even Blacky’s mother, once these people learn his secret.” Like Sura in The Buffalo Tree and Whensday in The Copper Elephant, Blacky is one of Adam Rapp’s mesmerizing voices, more so because it is a voice so rarely heard.

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About the Author:

Adam Rapp is an award-winning playwright whose plays (including Trueblinka and Blackfrost) have been presented in major cities all over the country. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Rapp (The Copper Elephant; The Buffalo Tree) turns in his bleakest work yet with this abandon-all-hope story of an 11-year-old victim of sexual abuse and neglect. Blacky Brown, the narrator, is first met as he flees, naked, from the home of his mother's boyfriend in the middle of the night. Blacky does everything right: he asks his older sister for help (his single mother is at work), and when she and a friend take him to the hospital, he tells the social worker from Children's Services about the boyfriend's abuses. At school he reaches out to his best (and only) friend. But Rapp knocks out every apparent support. Blacky's mother wants to keep seeing her boyfriend and seems repulsed by Blacky; the social worker doesn't follow up; the erstwhile friend tells all the kids at school, who taunt him. When Blacky befriends the other school pariah, who encourages Blacky to resist the bullying, she becomes the victim of a prank so brutal that she is last seen unconscious, lying on a stretcher. After several more traumas, the conclusion leaves Blacky to a grim fate. The unrelenting darkness, which may seem brave or honest to teen readers, loses some of its authenticity in Blacky's delivery; although it generally reflects Blacky's naivete and slow-wittedness as well as his shock, it also contains metaphors and vocabulary that, more sophisticated than the messenger, reveal the hand of the author at work. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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