Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos

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He didn't say good-bye. He didn't leave a phone number. And he didn't plan on coming back - ever.

In Wisconsin, Rico could blend in. His light hair and lighter skin wouldn't make him the "dark dude" or the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. The Midwest is the land of milk and honey, but for Rico Fuentes, it's really a last resort. Trading Harlem for Wisconsin, though, means giving up on a big part of his identity. And when Rico no longer has to prove that he's Latino, he almost stops being one. Except he can never have an ordinary white kid's life, because there are some things that can't be left behind, that can't be cut loose or forgotten. These are the things that will be with you forever.... These are the things that will follow you a thousand miles away.

For anyone who loved The Outsiders -- and for anyone who's ever felt like one -- Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos brings to life a haunting choice and an unforgettable journey about identity, misidentity, and all that we take with us when we run away.

About Oscar Hijuelos

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OSCAR HIJUELOS is the international bestselling author of eight novels, including The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, for which he became the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He has also received the Rome Prize and prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Born in Manhattan in 1951, he divides his time between New York and North Carolina, where he teaches at Duke University.
Published March 12, 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 464 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Fifteen-year-old Rico Fuentes, who refers to himself as the “palest Cubano who ever existed on the planet,” feels impelled by circumstances involving drugs, truancy and family to flee Harlem for Wisconsin;

Sep 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Dark Dude

Common Sense Media

While few readers will relate directly to the particulars of his situation, most will relate to Rico himself, and his outsider status is universal.

Sep 16 2008 | Read Full Review of Dark Dude

Library Journal

"YA crossover" is a term that gets thrown around a lot in library circles to describe books that appeal to both adults and kids.

Aug 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Dark Dude

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