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Korman, Gordon. 
SON OF THE MOB
New York : Hyperion, 2002.
IL YA
ISBN 0786807695

(5 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

17 year-old Vince is about to fulfill one of his dreams, making out with a girl on Bryce Beach. But when he reaches into the trunk of his car to get a blanket, he finds an unconscious man.  This is only one of the problems Vince faces being the son of Honest Abe Luca, mob boss.  Vince wants nothing to do with his fatherís business.  He begins dating Kendra, whose father, an FBI agent, is trying to put Honest Abe Luca in jail.  Vince also tries to help Jimmy Rat, a lowlife who owes Honest Abe money.  Read Son of the Mob to see if Vince can escape the family business, and if Vince and Kendra can overcome their familiesí different backgrounds and find love.

Prepared by: Evelyn Newman  for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

Vince Lucaís life is a mess.  His dad, who happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization, constantly bugs him to get motivated, his best friend Alex is insanely jealous about his new girlfriend, Kendra, and Kendraís father just happens to be the FBI agent who wants to put his father away for good.  All Vince wants is a normal life.  What should he do?  Howís he gong to tell his Dad he doesn't want to be part of the mob?  Should he throw away his lifelong friendship with Alex just for a girl?  What about Kendra, his first love?  Should he break up with her because her dad is in the FBI?  Read this humorous, plot-twisting book to see how much more complicated life can be when you are a Son of the Mob.  (Joanne Suzara, jsuzara704@yahoo.com, SLIS graduate student University of South Carolina)

Booktalk #3

Letís just say that you are Vince Luca, 17, Italian, and you have a girl in your car, on the beach, in the moonlight. Itís beautiful clear night. You know there is a blanket in the trunk of your car. Itís your big chance with a girl. Major make-out possibilities. Then you open the trunk, and there it is - wrapped around a dead body. Your Italian father, is of course, the mob boss. Nice car (it IS a Porsche), dead body. Your girlfriend has trouble keeping down the screams. All is not lost however, Vince meets Kendra, a really great girl with only one drawback- HER father is the FBI agent in charge of getting the goods on Vinceís father. This story pulls you back into some really hilarious scenes (what, you donít think the dead body in the trunk that sends your girlfriend into screaming fits isnít funny?) Try seeing Vince when he realizes his older brother is using his web page as a bookie scheme. Then switch to some serious scenes: ¬ Vince feels sorry for one of his fatherís underlings, and loans him money to keep the mob off his back.- switch to funny- Vinceís mother constantly cooking for 15 who show up for breakfast, begging people to eat- ok a little stereotyped, but thatís what youíll find- funny, serious, funny, with great dialog that will keep you into the novel rooting for the mob. Or at least the Son of the Mob.

by Mary Jo Heller of Shoreline Schools for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award

Booktalk #4

Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. Mostly. Somehow he doubts that when  his classmates open their car trunks to get a blanket out for their date to sit on, THEY find a beat-up guy trussed like a pork roast. This is what happens when your father is in ďthe vend- ing machine businessĒ, i.e., heís a mob boss. Vince wants nothing to do with his fatherís business, unlike his older brother, who bagged school after 12th grade to go into the family biz. But he feels bad for the guy in the trunk, and in trying to help him, gets sucked into Dadís stuff. To make things worse, just when Vince finds a girl he thinks is really great, it turns out that her father is the FBI agent whoís had Vinceís house bugged for years and is trying to take his father down. Romeo and Juliette had nothing to complain about. Itís a funny, light read, but includes questions like ďWhoís good, whoís bad, what is betrayal, and does it matter whether the one betrayed is bad or not?Ē

By Cindy Claypool of King County Library System for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award

Booktalk #5

Growing up, Vince Luca has his suspicions about his father's business and his mysterious "uncles" who come and go at his house during all hours of the day.  One day, his brother Tommy confirms those suspicions when he confesses that, "Dad's mobbed up." Their house is always bugged, the FBI listening in on all conversations.  Of course, there are some good points to being the son of a mob boss.  Vince's friend Alex is quick to remind Vince of these, "Don't you ever watch Mafia movies?  Do you have any idea the kind of chicks these guys get?  I defy you to show me one gangster with an ugly girlfriend."  But, Vince is determined to steer clear of a life of crime and avoid induction into the mob, unlike his brother.  His teachers, his mother and his father are all pressuring Vince to "get motivated".  Then he meets Kendra Bightly who is the one thing about high school and life in general that does interest Vince.  Only, she's the daughter of an FBI agent, the very agent assigned to investigate Vince's family.  Vince and Kendra start dating and he successfully avoids her FBI dad.  Then, Vince does get sucked into the family business, and his relationship with Kendra is betrayed by the one family "employee" he took for a friend.  Not only does he lose Kendra, but he discovers some very disturbing information about those closest to him.  Find out how Vince extracts himself from the family business, stays true to his pledge to avoid a life of crime, and gets his girl back.  (Cerese Long, cclong2001@yahoo.com, White Knoll Middle School)

SUBJECTS:     Organized crime -- Fiction.
                        Man-woman relationships -- Fiction.
                        Teenagers -- Fiction.

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