A voice from the loudspeaker blared, “Will the family who brought the little redheaded white girl to the Puerto Rican Day parade please come to the bandstand to pick her up.” I looked around. Wait a minute. I am at the bandstand. I am that lost girl!
Michele Carlo, a redheaded, freckle-faced Puerto Rican raised in the Polish section of the Bronx, grew up as a permanent outsider. Too white for her proud, Spanish-speaking relatives and a mystery to her schoolmates, Michele braved a search for identity that was a long, rough and tumble ride…
By turns heartbreaking and humorous, she recalls the family calamities, fumblings of first love, and all the people and events that shaped her. From her “playground battlefield” in the not-so-wholesome summer of ’69 to many adrenaline-fueled, graffiti-filled afternoons and her emergence as an artist with a unique and alluring voice, Michele’s story is an homage to a New York City gone by…and an iconically American, unforgettable portrait of growing up.
“Warm and insightful…Michele’s take on life as a Latina is the most original I have ever seen.” —Linda Nieves Powell, author of Free Style
“Michele’s humor, heart—and every sweet and razor-sharp note of her writing—reach far beyond the edges of this island.”
—Dan Kennedy, author of Rock On
“Poignant, funny, and authentic.” —Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb