Monday, January 25, 2010

Orange Houses by Paul Griffin

This is a quick read in which illegal immigration, gangs, PTSD. hearing impairment collide.
The characters are Mik aka Tamika who is hard of hearing and objects to wearing hearing aids because the world is too loud with them, Shanelle, gang leader with a posse of box cutter girls,
Jimmi who went to war and came back damaged, he could not stop the horrific killing, Fatima, illegal refugee from Africa with hopes of becoming legal. The action takes place in the projects (orange houses), neighborhood high school, Jimmi's wilderness. Tamika, Jimmi, Mik, outsiders in the tough world of gangs, drugs and Feds searching for illegals, become fast friends. Tamika introduces Mik to volunteering and the art of paper folding, Mik teaches Tamika sign languages and helps with Tamika's classes for children of veterans at the VA hospital. Jimmi knew Mik and her family before going to the desert war. Mik knew him as a long time friend, visited his caves, cared about him and he respected her, cared about her. When Shanelle accuses Mik of stealing her boyfriend and getting her expelled and attacks with her posse, Tamika and Jimmi try to protect their friend. For all of them, things change forever. This is a fast high interest read. Its worth reading, I think. Its an interesting look at the meaning of friendship and at what PTSD, Hearing Loss, Illegal Status can do to a person. JDW 1/25/10

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