At fifteen years old, East has never left Los Angeles. He works as a look-out in his Uncle Fin’s drug organization in a neighborhood known as “The Boxes.” But after failing to warn his crew about a police raid, East is called up to redeem himself by running a special favor for Fin. East and three other boys, including his younger brother Ty, are tasked with driving to Wisconsin to murder a key witness. Beginning with a quick but complicated stop in Las Vegas, the plans go tragically awry as the boys barrel headlong into the heartland in search of their mark. Along the way, East realizes that maybe, just maybe, a better life awaits him somewhere down the road.
In depicting East’s cross-country journey, debut novelist Bill Beverly incorporates elements of crime fiction, travelogue, and classic coming-of-age stories. With a teen protagonist, Dodgers is an excellent crossover selection for readers looking to experience a poetically austere new voice in fiction. With frank depictions of drug dealing, violence, and urban survival, it is strongly reminiscent of the brilliant TV series The Wire. If that sounds like something that’s in your lane, check out Dodgers ASAP in the high school library!
Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Dodgers in exchange for an honest review!