Reviewed by Adedayo
Lionel Perez was abandoned by his dad when he was seven years old. At thirteen, he feels anger against his dad; he hates him and considers him a bad example. When Lionel and his best friend Anisa find a baby in a VERY STINKY Porta-Potti, Lionel wants to be a better example than his father. As the book progresses, he becomes attached to this baby, and he feels that it is his job to be the loving father of this baby. He goes past many limits for the well being of this baby, and his relationship with his mom changes for the better. Lionel is like any other middle schooler who has to face tough choices in his life at the Red Hook projects. But a man named Mr. Owen helps him change his ways. Mr. Owen influences Lionel to be brave, be strong, and to make good choices in life. Mr. Owen is like Lionel’s father, and he shares some of the same experiences. His son left him because Mr. Owen used to hit him with a belt buckle because of his choices. And as you will soon see, everyone has at least one thing in their life that they want to change.
I think you would like this book if you enjoy books with suspense, action, and a few red herrings. The book includes many different relationships with many different characters, and it makes it seem like Lionel Perez is a real person living in the Red Hook projects! I like the way she doesn’t make Lionel the perfect little boy, and he makes some BAD choices. But he realizes he made a mistake and he tries to fix it throughout the book. I would give this book a five star rating (although you may find some parts mature, such as the intro, where someone gives birth to a baby. The book also mentions sex in some points.)