Sixteen year-old Alex Riley's top priorities in life are to find his long-absent father and a girl with a decent set of breasts. But his mother has a knack for sabotaging his plans. To advance her political career, she takes in an elderly black man named Lester Bray. Lester arrives with a vintage Cadillac and an old man's personality. It takes only a week for Alex's mother to ask Lester to leave. That makes Alex angry. On the morning of his eviction, Lester and Alex set out on a road trip, ostensibly to find the boy's father in Fort Lauderdale. But the two don't just head south. They also cross through un-navigated political, racial, and personal territory. A wild ride, Cadillac Chronicles explores what it means to--finally--find a real friend.
Brett Hartman lived an unremarkable life in Fort Lauderdale until May 18, 1983, when he was arrested for aggravated battery. While away at Auburn University, he suffered a psychotic breakdown and months of intensive treatment. Though he made a full recovery, the events of that period never left him. He continued his education at Indiana State, where he received a doctorate in clinical psychology; he has worked as a psychologist ever since. His memoir Hammerhead 84 covers his journey through the mental health industry. Cadillac Chronicles is his debut novel. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife and their two sons.
Praise For Cadillac Chronicles…
"[F]resh and grittyThe mix of humor, gravity, and angst will keep readers engaged, and this debut novel has enough of all three elements to appeal to reluctant and eager male readers alike." School Library Journal, starred review
"Angry, just-turned-16-year-old Alex, a white boy, and equally angry but very old Lester, a black man, are unlikely road-trip buddies in this novel that transcends its conventionsAlex learns to drive, comes to understand a little of the hard truth of race in postCivil Rightsera America and spectacularly loses his virginity in a scene that will surprise readers as much as AlexIf there's little doubt about the end of the trip, readers will be happy they've gone along for the ride." Kirkus Reviews
"Lester and Alex from Cadillac Chronicles are going to live in my literary memory for a long, long time. I think they are two of most likable folks to come along in young adult books for awhile." Connie Griffin, Bookworks Independent Bookstore
"This road-trip novel is full of humor and surprises that make it a delightful read for teenage boys and many girls as well." Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Albany Times-Union
"Hartmanmakes his YA debut with a hard-hitting road trip novel that’s unafraid to show the ugly sides of American life the self-knowledge and maturity Alex gains during his travels leave room for hope." — Publishers Weekly
Cinco Puntos Press, 9781935955412, 255pp.
Publication Date: October 23, 2012