Dark Dude (Paperback)

Dark Dude By Oscar Hijuelos Cover Image
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From Pulitzer Prize–winning author Oscar Hijuelos comes a riveting young adult novel set in the late 1960s about a haunting choice and an unforgettable journey of identity, misidentity, and all that we take with us when we run away.

He didn’t say good-bye. He didn’t leave a phone number. And he didn’t plan on coming back—ever.

Fifteen-year-old Rico Fuentes has had enough of life in Harlem, where his fair complexion—inherited from an Irish grandfather—keeps him caught between two cultures without belonging to either. He pours his outsider feelings into a comic book Dark Dude, with his friend Jimmy illustrating. But when Gilberto, who’s always looked out for Rico, moves to Wisconsin and Jimmy loses himself to an insidious habit, Rico decides enough is enough.

With Jimmy in tow, Rico runs away to the Midwest in search of Gilberto. The heavily white community feels worlds away from Harlem, and for the first time, Rico sees what it’s like to blend in—no longer the “dark dude” or the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. But the less energy Rico needs to put into proving he’s Latino, the less he feels like one. And the more he gets to know the people around him, the more it’s clear that a change in location doesn’t change human nature—and that there’s no such thing as a perfect community.

Faced with the truth that there are things that can’t be cut loose or forgotten, things that keep him from ever having an ordinary white kid’s life, Rico must decide whether he can make a home in the place he ran to…or the one he ran from.

About the Author

Oscar Hijuelos (1951–2013) was a first-generation Cuban American and the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He wrote several novels, including Dark Dude and A Simple Habana Melody. 

Praise For…

"Dark Dude's journey toward self-discovery is a compelling read. Today's teens will be thrilled to discover a voice as authentic and accomplished as Oscar Hijuelos's" - Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Glass

Product Details
ISBN: 9781416949459
ISBN-10: 1416949453
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 15th, 2009
Pages: 464
Language: English