Signs of a Misspent Youth


Also in Publishers Marketplace was the news that Paul Volponi sold two young adult books to Atheneum. All In is about a teenage boy who strives to win a poker tournament in order to avenge his deceased father who was mistreated by the reigning poker champion who also happens to be the boy’s math teacher. Triple Bug Boy is about a runaway teen who ends up at a racetrack, tries to become a jockey, and gets caught up in a race-fixing scheme.

Those sound like interesting books, Volponi has received strong reviews, and certainly Triple Bug Boy appeals to me because of my own childhood years spent on the backstretch and paddock areas of various low-level racetracks. But geez, man… poker and race-fixing… what else? How about throwing in some back alley craps games? Maybe hustling pool? A young adult novel about stealing hubcaps, perhaps? How about Fence, the story of a young boy who hocks the PB&J sandwiches stolen from lockers and who launders the money that Bobby the Bull takes from the first graders?

Books after my own heart. I’ll definitely be saving these up for my nephews.

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