Monday, March 23, 2009
My Rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Secondary
Martinez's novel, Poe Park, takes place in the Bronx, New York and is narrated by eleven-year-old Enoch. Although Enoch is surrounded by drugs and crime, he could not be happier with life: he has just finished fifth grade and is off to middle school, he is about to celebrate his eleventh birthday, and is planning how he and his best friend, Spencer, are going to spend their summer. Just as their summer is getting started, Spencer is shot and killed. Enoch spends the rest of his summer trying to cope with the pain and anger associated with the loss of his best friend. Compounding his anger and confusion is the realization his best friend was involved in drug running and his older half brother is coming from Puerto Rico to live with he and his mom.
The only element I did not care for in this novel was the lack of development in both the secondary characters and the subplots. The introspective narrative style of the story lead to a lot of "telling" by the author as opposed to "showing", and left a lot to be desired. Overall, an accessable piece of Hispanic American literature with which some students may find a connection.