He didn't say good-bye. He didn't leave a phone number. And he didn't plan on coming back - ever.
In Wisconsin, Rico could blend in. His light hair and lighter skin wouldn't make him the "dark dude" or the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. The Midwest is the land of milk and honey, but for Rico Fuentes, it's really a last resort. Trading Harlem for Wisconsin, tho...more
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Rico is growing up in the mid-to-late 20th century. He lives with his parents and sister in either Harlem or the Upper West Side (it isn't specific). The thing about Rico is he doesn't look like the rest of his family. He's Cuban-Irish, but he looks really really really Irish. And the rest of his family looks really really really cuban. In that time in...more
This review originally appeared at www.readinasinglesitting.com.
When I was in year eight I had an English teacher who would have us write essays in class, and would then commend students who could hand in a piece of work free of spelling mistakes. I will never forget the time he held up an error-free essay, then looked the student in the eye and said, "but it's not as though you took any risks, is it?"
Our teacher would have preferred our work to be peppered with mistakes so long as it m...more
Well OK--adults may not admit it, but it's often like that for us too--but somehow it's more intense for an adolescent, especially in the forced and self-contained environm...more
This is a young-adult novel from the Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.
Rico Fuentes is a “dark dude” – which means that he is a very-light-skinned Cubano – living in New York City’s Spanish Harlem. Blond, with hazel eyes and freckles, his appearance gets a lot of attention from the tough guys in the neighborhood, who hassle him for being a “whitey.” The fact that he’s slight of build, and prefers books and music to hang...more
Rico Fuentes is white although his Cuban family is racially mixed (black and white). He confronts prejudice from other Latinos who are not white and from black American youngsters. In the minds of those other youngsters, you cannot be Latino if you...more
Dark Dude about Rico, a 16 year old Cuban boy, who is often mistaken for a white kid, living in the ghetto of New York City. His best friend, Gilberto, who is 18, wins a lottery ticket for $70,000. Gilberto has plann...more
In the book I made a text-to-world connection. In the book, Rico does a lot of drugs an...more
Teenager Rico Fuentes, our smart and hopeful narrator, is getting hassled from every angle. The son of dark-skinned Cuban immigrants, Rico’s light skin, ligh...more
Rico is one hundred percent Cuban, yet he struggles daily to identify with his Cuban peers. His mom and little sister have brunette hair and cinnamon colored skin. His dad has both dark wavy hair and dark eyes. But Rico, with hazel eyes and fair skin with freckles, looks white. In Harlem, that pretty much guarantees daily harass...more
This book takes place in the Bronx. I didn't realize that it was supposed to take place in the 1970's until after I read some reviews. I noticed the language was a little off to take place near our millienum, but the language of 70's was used so sparsely, that it really didn't take place. Even the charac...more
The scene shifts from the mean city to the Badger State, but Rico qui...more
How many teens have wished they could escape the darkness of their lives and live in a land of milk and honey? Rico Fuentes does just that in DARK DUDE by Oscar Hijuelos.
Rico is one-hundred-percent Cuban, yet he struggles daily to identify with his Cuban peers. His mom and little sister have brunette hair and cinnamon colored skin. His dad has both dark wavy hair and dark eyes. But Rico, with hazel eyes and fair skin with freckles, looks white. In...more
In DARK DUDE, the main character is (like Hijeulos) a Cuban-American who grows up in Harlem in the late '60s. Like Hijuelos, the protagonist Rico is fair-skinned. This makes him the object of ridicule from Latinos and Blacks as well as Whites. Eventually it's family strife, however, that drives him to run away to a...more
When things take a turn for the worse at school, he convinces his best friend, Jimmy, to give up heroin and run away to join an older pal who has gone to college in Wisconsin, everyone takes him for white. The contrast between his urban...more
Hijuelos was born in New York City, in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, to Cuban immigrant parents. He attended the Corpus Christi School, public schools, and later attended Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Manhattan Community College before matriculating into and...more