|Prank (1984) [Novel]|
by Kathryn Lasky
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As she watches Timmy being led away in handcuffs for vandalizing a synagogue, sixteen-year-old Birdie Flynn reflects that her brother seems entitled to nothing - like all the Flynns, in fact, including herself. Until this moment, Birdie has dreamed of a better life in the "new" Boston across the harbor; far from their tough East Boston neighborhood. Now she's not so sure.
Still, Birdie isn't ready to admit defeat. She's cheered by the independence of a summer job in Filene's department store - merely the beginning, she fantasizes, of a glorious selling career. And then there's best friend Gloria Saccharelli and her parents, who appreciate Birdie’s irreverent humor - crucial for survival in the quarrelsome, TV-dominated Flynn household - and who encourage her undeniable talent for writing,
All Birdie's optimism, however, cannot erase the consequences of Jimmy's "prank," and he continues to drift, the failure that typifies their family. Unable to fathom his self-defeating rage - and prompted by an encounter with a member of the desecrated synagogue- Birdie begins to examine the events of the Holocaust, searching for shreds of hope within the nihilistic testimony of the past. Award-winning author Kathryn Lasky has written an incandescent novel in which a teenager struggles against a life of bigotry and despair. It soars above the graffiti and glitter of Boston on Birdie Flynn's dreams, during the scorching summer of the prank.
Original title: Prank
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Family & Relationships