Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn

Book - 2016
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Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780763674670
0763674672
Branch Call Number: FICTION Med
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm

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CRRL_AdrianaP Jun 07, 2017

Takes place during the Son of Sam serial killing, which was absolutely fascinating (and rather scary) to read about.


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CRRL_AdrianaP Jun 07, 2017

Takes place during the Son of Sam serial killing, which was absolutely fascinating (and rather scary) to read about.

JCLMelodyMK Mar 17, 2017

The summer of 1977 was preceded by a sub zero freezing winter followed by a boiling summer with temperatures of 3 digits most of the time. This leads to a very volatile summer.
Nora Lopez a 17 year old living with her abusive 16 year old brother Hector and their mother Mima in a small apt. with no air condition in of the many Burroughs of New York City.
Growing up I had heard of the black out in NYC and the Son of Sam serial Murders.
Reading this book brought me much closer to this time in history.
A quick read that I had a hard time laying down. I would recommend this book to any age, teen up to 100.

c
chelseasc
Jan 05, 2017

Medina's tale of one teen coming-of-age during the summer of 1977 was oddly comforting and completely engrossing. Nora is a wonderfully authentic heroine, responsible yet flawed, smart enough to know when she's making bad decisions but realistically juvenile enough to make them anyway, and with a typical teen's view of the adults, both well-meaning and disappointing, in her life. The romance is not the main plot, and remains sweet and even empowering with Nora setting most of the boundaries, but I especially loved the strong female friendship at the heart of the story. Diverse female role models abound in this book, from Nora and Kathleen, two teens determined to own their futures, to Stiller, the African-American activist neighbor who alternately supports and clashes with Kathleen's Catholic feminist mother. In general, Nora's relationships (both supporting and challenging) with her community, from her boss to her teachers to her best friend's parents, contributed much to the story's strong sense of place. And New York in 1977 is really almost a supporting character here. Medina's ability to bring to life the heat, the fear, and the social unrest that characterized that time and place creates an immersive reading experience without ever taking away from Nora's story. And it's strangely reassuring to remember that our country has been through turbulent times before, and continues to move forward. Pairing this slightly apocalyptic setting with the story of a teenager on the precipice of independence and adulthood, struggling to define her place in her family and in her community, and unsure of the future, makes for a truly outstanding read. Sure to appeal to a wide range of teen readers, and great for discussions about family, social history, and relationships.

a
abcDena
Apr 23, 2016

Bleak, but enjoyable.

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina is an engrossing coming-of-age tale about a Latin-American teen, Nora Lopez. Nora's home life is unhappy, she bottles it up while learning unsavoury things about her brother, and crushing on the new kid at work. Oh, and it's the summer of 1977 and David Berkowitz is on his shooting rampage around New York.

This was a good read, but not at all what I expected! I chose it based on the synopsis *after* plucking it off the shelf because of the awesome disco ball cover art and catchy title.

Burn Baby Burn doesn't take itself as seriously as the blurb suggests it might, so you end up with a tale about growing up and out of yourself. Also, I just love a good story about regular people on the grind.

Actually, nothing about the Son of Sam aspect of the story was particularly sinister, so I'd even recommend it to teens/young adults.

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chelseasc
Jan 05, 2017

chelseasc thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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