Coming of age is never easy, but R.W. Carpenito has much more to deal with than the average adolescent.
Barnes & Noble.com
Dawn Reno, Author and Associate Professor
When R.W. Carpenito's father is arrested for sexually molesting some girls in R.W.'s school, the world turns upside down for the Carpenito family. R.W., a slightly arrogant teenager, fights his own confusion as he attempts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. But while he's doing his "detective work," he's also falling for one of the girls involved in the scandal. His confusion becomes even more evident when he's forced to try to understand whether his father is the man R.W. once admired--or a stranger with some pretty sick tendencies. The story explores adolescent friendships, hangups, and the scary feeling of first love -- as well as the coming-of-age emotions involved when a teen first starts questioning the adult authority figures in his life.
When the cops walk in the door, I think they're coming for me. They probably know Jakey Hanson and I skipped school last week and hot-wired Anna Podarvski's mom's Lexus and rode up and down 17-92 past the strip joints till that got boring, and that we took the car back around 4:00, right before Mrs. P got out of work. But how can the cops know, and why would they care? Look, we brought the car back. Without a scratch. Still, I put my dinner knife down cause it's jiggling against my dish, and Ginny—my sister, Virginia Woolf Carpenito (one of my father's "scholarly" jokes: he named all four of us kids after famous writers. Real funny, Dad.)—gives me a suspicious look like maybe I'm nervous 'cause I did something wrong, and I want to give her a kick, warn her that if she opens her yap, she's dead.
My fingernails rake my leather seat, under the table where no one can see, but I know they can't tell anything's wrong by looking at my face. It's taken me thirteen years, but I've managed to master the art of looking totally innocent in the worst of situations. I'm so good at it, I've gotten away with a lot worse than taking a Lexus for a joyride. Actually, I've probably done less than my dad did during the 70’s, only difference is he got canned a couple of times, caught in the act of hot-wiring a Camaro, and picked up twice for shoplifting. Innocent stuff, he says. Typical teenage pranks. But he was caught. I never have been.