Giuseppe and Me
Giuseppe and Me

Giuseppe and Me

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Alessandro Lupo (Alex) is a sixteen-year-old gay foster child who has been moved from "home" to "home" in New York City. Isolated by circumstances and by the protective shield he's surrounded himself with, he wanders the streets of the West Village and gravitates toward Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots planted the seeds of the gay civil rights movement. Having been raped at his previous foster home, he worries about HIV and about ever being able to enjoy sex.

Alex, whose parents had both been Italian, feels his lack of family keenly. As he wanders the city's streets, he scrutinizes people who might also be Italian. Alex is short for Alessandro, which means defender of men; Lupo means wolf. But Alex feels fearful most of the time—fearful not just of the bully Derek, the other foster teen at his current home, but also of life in general—and begs for the courage of his 19th century countryman, Giuseppe Garibaldi, with whose statue in Washington Square Park Alex has imaginary conversations.

Then Alex meets two people who represent polar opposites: one who validates the low opinion Alex already has of himself; and another who helps him see himself in an entirely new light and teaches him that his life is worth more than a few minutes of anyone's pleasure.

“It is amazing how Ms. Reardon can get into the mind of a gay youth but she does it time and time again with aplomb.” (Bob Drake, Vine Voice)

“Robin Reardon is an excellent writer who really knows her craft. This is a wonderful story that kept me reading on without a break. The characters are well-developed and sharply defined, even in this short work. I highly recommend this story; it's fun to read and it has a message that's very important for anyone, regardless of age.” (Tom Conner, author of Goodbye, Saturday Night)

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