Asphalt Angels

Ineke Holtwijk, Author, Aneke Holtwijk, Author, Wanda Boeke, Translator
Ineke Holtwijk, Author, Aneke Holtwijk, Author, Wanda Boeke, Translator Boyds Mills Press $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-886910-24-9
Paperback - 187 pages - 978-1-886910-43-0
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This novel by a Dutch journalist graphically depicts life on the streets for a 13-year-old boy in Rio de Janeiro after his mother dies. Glue sniffing, stealing, prostitution and panhandling are all part of the daily routine for Alex's gang, called the Asphalt Angels, which is headed by a 19-year-old thief and his 16-year-old ""wife,"" and whose youngest member is a 10-year-old addict. The author based the novel on a boy she met in a shelter for street children in Rio. Alex is a sympathetic protagonist, living the roughest life a child could have. His most fervent wish is for a mother and a bed. The greatest strengths of the book are its cast of living, breathing characters and its unparalleled depiction of life on the streets, where stealing seems a perfectly logical response to hunger. The drama of the last chapters brings the plot to a sobering conclusion, yet strikes a dimly hopeful chord. This novel is not for the faint of heart; it is best suited for mature readers. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
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