Vivid characters living their lives in a touching and compelling story.

Joey Ambrosio is a ten year old boy whose mother dies, leaving him with a father who isn’t capable of handling his grief let alone help his son survive his own anguish. So what does a father like this do? Drops the kid off to live with grandparents Joey’s never met and takes time off to deal with his wife’s death.

This coming-of-age story takes place on Shepherd Avenue in Brooklyn, NY during a hot summer. Joey has a lot to learn; building a relationship with his unfamiliar grandparents, develop coping skills for all the frustrations and letdowns that swirl around him as everyone exhibits their pain through constant bickering and cursing, and adapting to conventions and traditions of Italian life.

While Joey’s father travels across different states, he begins to develop friendships with neighbors, forging relationships with kids his age. Joey acquires the ability to stand up and defend himself. Joey experiences more loss, which opens an opportunity for growth in understanding and managing heartache.

I loved the way this book was written. Mr. Carillo has a knack for not only character descriptions, but also character development. I could hardly put this book down. I won’t ding the review based off the poor editing.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewer: Jules

Title: Shepherd Avenue

Author: Charles Carillo

Release Date: February 1, 1988

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