ASPHALT ANGELS by Ineke Holtwijk


Age Range: 14 & up
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The riveting true story of a 13-year-old boy living on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, as do thousands of children, without shelter or hope. Holtwijk submerses readers into Alex’s reality, his diminishing dreams, and his fears. His stepfather drives him from his home when his mother dies; on the streets he meets a few kind people, but ends up living with a gang whose members survive by theft and find solace sniffing glue. Alex knows the dangers of glue and wants to remain honest, hoping only for “a bed and a mother,” but his terror increases daily as he learns to steal. He reluctantly makes one drug run, and uses his pay to buy a real dinner and one night in a hotel. He’s eventually rescued, but many others are not. Holtwijk constructs Alex’s world, conjures the terrors of his nights, makes specific his stolen and begged food, his filthy clothes and matted hair, and his attempts to cling to innocence. Readers will inhabit Alex’s life, for a time, and they will understand and admire him, deeply. (Nonfiction. 14+)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1999
ISBN: 1-886910-24-3
Page count: 183pp
Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999