Little Chicago by Adam Rapp

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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.

About Adam Rapp

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Adam Rapp is the author of numerous young adult novels, including 33 Snowfish, Under the Wolf, Under theDog, and The Buffalo Tree, which was the inspiration for this off-Broadway play The Metal Children. Adam Rapphas also written for TV (The L Word, In Treatment) and was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2006.He lives in New York City.
Published April 1, 2002 by Boyds Mills Press. 208 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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After it becomes clear that Al is just going to get a slap on the wrist from the authorities, Blacky makes the mistake of coming clean to a supposed friend, and becomes an instant outsider at school, subjected to significant gestures and murmurs of “skank” that escalate into attacks with red pain...

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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