xi, 208 pages ; 22 cm
In his family's new rental home on a down-at-the heels street in sun-beaten Miami -- with dog-eating alligators in the canal out back, a dangerously attractive girl across the road, and the unhinged Pagoda family next door -- fourteen-year-old Jack is adrift, losing a sense of who he is and what he's all about. Which is why he ends up trying to morph himself into someone he's not, that someone being sixteen-year-old Gary Pagoda, a.k.a. Scary Gary, just back from juvie for car theft. Following Gary's lead that first time is just the start of Jack's series of bad decisions.
Set in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of Jack's family's latest rental home, this autobiographical novel opens with an explosive encounter in which he meets his rebellious older neighbor, Gary Pagoda, just back from juvie for car theft. Instantly mesmerized, Jack decides he will do whatever it takes to be like Gary. But he may not be as ready as he thinks when the trouble in him comes blazing to life.
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