Item description for The Odd Squad by Joe Benevento...
Narrated by the characters themselves, The Odd Squad is a story of the streets in a working-class, post "white-flight" neighborhood in Queens in the early '70's. On a block where muggings, drug-deals and racial conflicts are commonplace, three teens, Willie King, Frankie Nero and Luis Flores, "one black, one white, one Puerto Rican," are labeled "The Odd Squad," for being best friends in spite of powerful neighborhood pressures to stick with "their own kind."
Reflecting the street language, music, dance, dress and sub-cultures of the times, The Odd Squad tells a story of friendship challenged by peer pressure, prejudice and the allure of sex and drugs. It also tells a story of interracial romance between Frankie and Luis's sister Laura, whose chances for happiness are challenged by a neighborhood perhaps readier to explode from hate than to be redeemed by love.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2005
Publisher Behler Publications
ISBN 1933016132 ISBN13 9781933016139
Availability 0 units.
More About Joe Benevento
Joe Benevento is a local New York/New Jersey author and writes with the passion of one who knows the city and its people. He is the author of two books of poetry, Holding On and Willing to Believe and the novel Plumbing In Harlem. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in various publications, including Poets & Writers and Bilingual Review. He is a Professor of English at Truman State University.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Odd Squad?
A dynamic novel of young adulthood with cool characters and great dialogue. Jan 5, 2006
Joe Benevento has a canny understanding of the politics of sixteen-year-old life and the way young people navigate their uncertain surroundings. Many of the elements you'd expect from a story about teenage guys in Queens--bullies, girlfriends, street crime and the occasional baseball game--are here, but he always gives them a unique spin that keeps the outcome in doubt.
The dialogue evokes Queens in the early '70s, where everybody knows how to speak a little Spanish and talk a lot of trash. I enjoyed how Benevento captured the way kids shift their speech depending on who's in the room while they're doing the talking (their Moms, their girlfriends, their best buddies).
I found myself caught up in the lives of the three main characters/narrators, rooting for each of them through their mistakes and successes. The Odd Squad is a real page-turner. Highly recommended.
Riveting reading Nov 7, 2005
Outstanding dialogue. Very realistic. Joe Benevento captures the hopes, fears, and tensions of working class kids in Queens in the 1970's. A must read for teenagers and adults.
Excellent Aug 13, 2005
Once I started reading, I couldn't put "The Odd Squad" down - I read it cover to cover in one, long sitting. The characters are rich and compelling, the story well-crafted and engaging and, well, it's just plain good. A fun read for kids and grown-ups alike.