In this short, funny, moving book Alexie’s fifteen year old narrator runs away from yet another foster home, meets a charismatic older kid in jail who goes by the name of Justice, gets seduced by his idea of revenge, and gets shot dead as he goes on a shooting spree in a bank. That’s just the start. He finds himself tumbling through identities in different times and places, and each reveals something about the nature of justice and the wages of anger. Each story is short and packs an emotional punch but each one evades easy answers. It’s amazing how much is packed into this short, compulsively readable book. The narrator’s voice is clear and true. It has an absurdly optimistic ending considering how much pain and violence there is in the book (along with the humor), but it’s the kind of hope we all need – and it’s harder to pull off and braver than an artfully bleak ending.
I would love to give this book to kids who think they don’t like books. If I could buy it for every juvenile facility and group home in the country I would.