Well, even if they say life can be shitty, you really don’t know the half of it until you’ve dug up an outhouse.
Coming of age of a white Latino boy in New York City and Wisconsin. A couple of decades ago, as I discovered after initially being confused about the lack of cell phones and the very cheap comics.
Rico isn’t white enough nor rich enough to sit with the white students, nor black enough to hitch his wagon to the other Latino or black kids. He wants to become famous with the comic books he creates, but the friend that draws the accompanying comics is becoming more interested in drugs and less in drawings. His other friends with the lottery and moves to a less poisonous, no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel place. After a situation, Rico follows him to Wisconsin.
There he learns about different ways of lives, different motivations, different ways of looking at the same problem. Rico doesn’t just run away from a bleak future, he’s so very hopeful that he can create a better one.
Dark Dude is a bittersweet story about responsibilities, race and family. YA how it should be.
Dark Dude, Oscar Hijuelos, Atheneum Books For Young Readers 2009