Burn Baby Burn

  • Type: Books
  • By: Meg Medina
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780763674670
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Searing heat, disco, and the summer New York City burned.

Nora, 18, is fiercely devoted to both her Cuban American family and her dream of a life beyond the gritty backstreets of Queens.  But with an emotionally distant mother, an absent father, and an angry teenaged brother who likes to play with matches, Nora’s daily life is a trial.  Making it all worse is a record-breaking heatwave and the citywide panic brought on by the Son of Sam murders, which reached its peak in the early summer of 1977.

But life isn’t all dismal for Nora.  She’s a resilient young woman with supportive neighbors, a job she likes, and a new co-worker who just might become a love interest.  Besides, she has a best friend who shares her love for disco, the dance craze currently sizzling in the clubs of Manhattan.

This story offers a full-on barrage of sensory detail that recreates that hot urban summer: the blinding sun, the awful stickiness of relentless heat, the smell of hot asphalt and burning buildings, the screeching of sirens and the rumble of souped-up muscle cars.  For readers interested in visiting a dangerous time in New York City’s history, this is the next best thing to time travel.