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Kicking the Sky

Fiction: Mystery / Thriller / Young Adult
Unabridged   9.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/25/2014

Kicking the Sky

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781622312726
Digital Download ISBN:9781622312733


From Giller-nominated author Anthony De Sa a novel of rare evocative power that captures with clarity and poignancy the space between innocence and knowing for a city, for a community, and most especially for a trio of unforgettable boys.

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Product Description

In 1977 a shoeshine boy, Emanuel Jacques, is brutally raped and murdered in Toronto. In the aftermath of the crime, twelve-year-old Antonio Rebelo and his rapscallion friends explore their Portuguese neighborhood’s dark garages and labyrinthine back alleys. The boys develop a curious relationship with a charismatic, modern-day Fagin who is master over an amoral world of hustlers, thieves, and drug dealers.

As the media unravels the truth behind the shoeshine-boy murder, Antonio starts to see his family—and his neighborhood—as never before. He becomes aware of the dashed hopes of immigrants, of the influence of faith and the role of church, and of the frightening reality that no one is really taking care of him. So intent are his parents and his neighbors on keeping the old traditions alive that they act as if they still live in a small Portuguese village, not in a big city that puts their kids in the kind of danger they would not dare imagine.

Antonio learns about bravery and cowardice, life and death, and the heart’s capacity for both love and unrelenting hatred in this stunning coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a true crime that shook the city.


“Narrator Tomas Marsh is a lovely choice for this coming-of-age story. . . . Marsh captures the ups and downs of life in this unlikely crime story, gracing the occasional Portuguese words with a lilting intonation that gives the narration cultural authenticity.”

“Heartfelt, intertwining stories. . . . A compete success.”
      —Library Journal [HC starred review]

“De Sa’s well-realized coming-of-age story is distinguished by its setting in a traditional Portuguese community on the brink of change.”

“The intensity and fragility of boys on the cusp of adolescence is vividly captured, as is the portrait of a community whose insularity is both its strength and its weakness.”
      —Shyam Selvadurai, author of Funny Boy and The Hungry Ghosts

Kicking the Sky dares to tell the story about the messy dark side of a big city through the clear eyes of a twelve-year-old boy teetering on the fence between observer and victim. . . . A courageous novel.”
      —Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide and Truth Like the Sun

Author Bio

ANTHONY DE SA, author of the story collection Barnacle Love, grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese community. He graduated from University of Toronto, did his postgraduate work at Queen’s University, and attended the Humber School for Writers and Ryerson University. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three boys.

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