An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year
“An excellent writer and a marvelous storyteller. . . . He creates a special world on Shepherd Avenue that I loved to enter and hated to leave.” –Ferrol Sams
From acclaimed author Charlie Carillo comes a poignant, darkly funny, coming-of-age story set in the heart of Italian-American Brooklyn, New York, and the heat of one eventful 1960s summer . . .
Ten-year-old Joey Ambrosio has barely begun to grieve his mother’s death when his father abruptly uproots him from his sedate suburban Long Island home, and deposits him at his estranged grandparents’ house in boisterous East New York. While his dad takes off on an indefinite road trip, Joey is left to navigate unfamiliar terrain. Besides his gruff Italian grandparents, there's his teenage Uncle Vic, a baseball star obsessed with the music of Frank Sinatra; a steady diet of soulful, hearty foods he’s never tasted, and a community teeming with life, from endless gossip and arguments to curse-laden stickball games under the elevated train. It’s a world where privacy doesn’t exist and there’s no time to feel sorry for yourself. Most of all, it’s where Joey learns not only how to fight, and how to heal, but how to love—and ultimately, how to forgive.
Praise for Charlie Carillo and Raising Jake
“The best kind of journey, one you don't want to end...funny, moving.” —Mike Lupica
“In the tradition of Tom Perotta…truthful, and hilarious.” —Alison Grambs
“A literary romp through the minefields of a totally normal, and totally abnormal, family… I actually laughed out loud and kept turning the pages to make absolutely sure that all worked out at the end.” –Cathy Lamb
“Carillo has an easy way with breezy prose and likable characters.” –Publishers Weekly