Burn Baby Burn

by | Read by Marisol Ramirez

Published by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio

While violence runs rampant throughout New York, a teenage girl faces danger within her own home in Meg Medina's riveting coming-of-age novel.

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora’s family life isn’t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late? Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit—and the hardest to accept.

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AudioFile Review

Burn Baby Burn

Marisol Ramirez’s narration moves fluidly from English to Spanish as she depicts 17-year-old Nora Lopez and her family. Nora’s bilingualism is only one way she aids her Cuban immigrant mother, who speaks very little English. And that’s not the only lack of communication in their home. Nora is continually criticized by her mother while her younger brother Hector, despite his ugly temper, is coddled. Ramirez’s other narrative strength comes through in her portrayal of Nora’s emotional struggles. As Hector’s violent behavior increases, Nora’s frustrations and worries escalate to fear. Tension is heightened by the story’s setting, New York City’s terrifying summer of 1977, when oppressive heat waves and blackouts and lootings are dominated by the Son of Sam murders. Overly responsible Nora struggles to come to terms with independence, love, and keeping family secrets. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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