What’s It About: Jay Gatsby wouldn’t last a day a East Harlem.
Why: One high school class I observed is reading this book right after reading Gatsby and I like to show off to readers ages 13-17.
Thoughts:I really loved this intriguing, modern re-telling of Gatsby. Not only is this book’s Gatsby (the titular Willie Bodega) a self-made, drug-dealing, millionaire… he’s also a passionate social rights activist for the poor and forsaken of East Harlem. This makes his connection to the “new” American Dream, that of the immigrant, the zoned, the voiceless, all the more significant. And though its concept is Gatsby 101, there are enough twists and energetic storytelling to make this a thrilling page-turner.