Ten Mile River is a stunning debut novel about survival and friendship on the streets of New York City.
Best friends Ray and José are on their own and on the run. They hide out in Ten Mile River, a wildwood Harlem park. Street-smart José and bookish, introspective Ray are closer than brothers until they meet the beautiful Trini. She’s clever and confident, and they both fall for her. But somehow Ray has to find a different future for himself.
Paul Griffin’s spare, moving prose and uncanny ear for dialogue is guaranteed to win many fans.
‘Tom and Huck for a new era, a new generation. This book’s got balls and beauty in equal measure.’ Phillip Gwynne
Griffin makes a striking debut with this gritty, dialogue-heavy novel about two homeless boys. Ray and Jos , 14 and 15, have survived foster care and juvenile detention together, and now hide out from their parole officers in a burned-out stationhouse in New York City's Ten Mile River park. They make their way by stealing, working occasionally, and trying to stay under police radar. Ray is bigger and smarter (he reads anything he can, and especially likes physics), but Jos , a proven matador, is boss. They are friends to the end until Ray meets and falls for the beautiful Trini, who encourages both boys to go straight, like her. But Ray's view of himself and his understanding of loyalty also leads him to set up Trini with Jos . As Griffin illuminates Ray's often dangerous world, readers will feel for themselves Ray's dilemma and the difficulties he faces in choosing between Jos , drawn to the fast buck, and his own desires to make something of himself. The language is tough but convincing, the setting authentic, the characters memorable and their struggles played out with a complexity that respects the audience's intelligence. Ages 12 up.