BURNING CITY by Ariel Dorfman


Age Range: 14 & up
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Heller Hastings is the intuitive and sensitive protagonist of this unique story set in New York City the summer before September 11, 2001. As the only bike-riding employee of Soft Tidings, a messenger service dedicated to delivering news to its customers face to face, Heller has a knack for gently breaking bad news to the company’s diverse client-base. His compassion makes him popular among a loosely connected network of illegal immigrants, but Heller remains detached, preferring to daydream about Silvia, his crush. His impassive veneer cracks, however, after meeting Salim, a Turkish man to whom he delivered some disappointing news about the woman he loves. As tensions in the city rise with the mercury, Heller has an eerie premonition that the world is at the threshold of change. This, coupled with the lessons he learns from Salim, leads Heller to reach out to Silvia. Although unusually mature and self-sufficient due to the absence of his do-good parents, Heller has typical insecurities, fears and dreams that are perfectly captured in this hip, urban tale of unlikely friendships. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 24th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-83203-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2005


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