Kicking the Sky
Anthony De Sa
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It was 1977 when a shoeshine boy, Emanuel Jaques, was brutally murdered in Toronto. In the aftermath of the crime, twelve-year-old Antonio Rebelo explores his neighborhood’s dark garages and labyrinthine back alleys along with his rapscallion friends.
As the media unravels the truth behind the Shoeshine Boy murder, Antonio sees his immigrant family--and his Portuguese neighborhood--with new eyes, becoming aware of the frightening reality that no one is really taking care of him. So intent are his parents and his neighbors on keeping the old traditions alive that they act as if they still live in a small village, not in a big city that puts their kids in the kind of danger they would not dare imagine.
Antonio learns about bravery and cowardice, life and death, and the heart’s capacity for love--and for cruelty--in this stunning novel.
cock almost reaching the ground. “Ricky,” I whispered. James and Manny were suddenly beside me. I took a step toward Ricky, but James’s arm shot out, his hand spread out against my chest to stop me. The horse looked to the side, its head down. James drew in his breath. Ricky nuzzled the horse’s chin and leaned his shoulder under its massive barrel chest. “It’ll be okay,” Ricky whispered. He stood on his toes, reached way up and patted little clouds of dust from the horse’s neck. “Everything
were standing. His chest would close, the skin sealed over his heart, then open as he blinked. I would shake my head back and forth just to see him blinking, the scar healing, over and over. “I heard Senhora Gloria and Senhor Batista are going back home,” my mother said. “They’re not feeling very safe here. The city’s changed. They’ve decided to go.” “I guess that’s a happy thought,” Edite said. The limpet I was chewing got stuck in my throat. I gagged and coughed. “Yes, it is,” my sister
before.” Was I a sign? I didn’t feel any different. The night before, I had tried to test my powers. I pointed to the alarm clock in my room, focused real hard, tried to blast it with the electricity Senhora Rosa spoke of. I thought sonar waves might work better, like Aquaman, so I squeezed my eyes shut, concentrating on sending mental waves that would move my bed, just a little bit. Nothing. I tried something smaller. No use. Then it occurred to me that if God did give me some kind of
me some juicy bits. It’s hard to get this information. Everyone in our newsroom is just too polite so they asked me to use my American know-how to dazzle a few answers out of them.” “Who are the reports about this time?” She’d kill me if she knew I had shared that secret information about Saul Betesh with my class. There was a pact between us—a pact I felt guilty for breaking—that allowed her to share information if I kept it to myself. I still needed to ask for it, though, like poking a bug to
dirt road that ran down the middle of the man-made peninsula. A light wind riffled across the surface of Lake Ontario. We were the only ones there. This was what the surface of the moon must look like, I thought, with hills and craters all covered in white dust. Ice had formed along the lip of the shore. It was peaceful. My father drove the truck right out to the long finger of land, then reversed it until it backed onto the shore. The truck stopped with a grind of metal. Seagulls hovered above.