Little Chicago

Little Chicago

By Adam Rapp; Handprint

Front Street, Incorporated, Hardcover, 9781886910720, 208pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2002

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 the Author
Adam Rapp is the author of numerous young adult novels, including 33 Snowfish, Under the Wolf, Under the Dog, and The Buffalo Tree, which was the inspiration for his off-Broadway play The Metal Children. Adam Rapp has 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.