BLACK AND WHITE by Paul Volponi

BLACK AND WHITE

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Marcus is black and Eddie white in a multicultural Long Island neighborhood. Known to all as “Black and White,” they have honed their athletic skills together and are in the midst of a basketball season headed to the playoffs and scholarships to good colleges. They know each other’s timing and rhythm and feel complete trust in each other. However, off the court they have decided to supplement their income by holding up strangers for money for senior activities and the latest athletic shoes. Using Grandpa’s gun from Eddie’s attic, both think their initial success means invincibility. The nightmare that ensues when Eddie inadvertently hits the trigger—and their victim—becomes the playing field for the author’s exploration of how much difference race can make in the fate of each boy and their friendship. Rather than exploring the issue of race by pretending it doesn’t exist, Volponi points directly at it, illustrating at every turn that the race of the various characters influences events as well as whether Marcus will end up in prison alone. Consequences for everyone unfold and escalate in rapid-fire fashion. Hugely discussable. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-06006-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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