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The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

by Francisco X. Stork

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Inc., 2010
344 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-15133-7

Ages 14 and older

The deaths of his father and sister within three months have made seventeen-year-old Pancho the newest resident at St. Anthony’s, a home for orphaned and abandoned boys. D.Q., a resident who is terminally ill with cancer, quickly pegs Pancho as his new best friend. Pancho resists the role, but D.Q. wants someone in his corner and senses there’s something Pancho wants, too. D.Q. is going to Albuquerque to try a new treatment regime his mother insists upon. She abandoned D.Q. years before in a time of crisis, and now she is fighting for his life even if it means alienating him further. And it turns out a way to get to Albuquerque is exactly what Pancho has been hoping for. The man he believes is responsible for the death of his developmentally disabled sister lives there, and Pancho plans on killing him. Francisco X. Stork’s astoundingly beautiful novel explores complex emotions of characters who are fully realized as they weave their way into one another’s hearts and minds. With its suspenseful and satisfying conclusion, this story affirms the power of caring and love to reveal meaning and value in life.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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