What does it mean when you have a crush on your wrestling opponent after you just kicked his butt? Can you be in love with a teammate? Paco's teammate Chad missed school, all the moms in the baseball bleachers know, for a sexual abuse trial. Most parents frown upon him because he acts out, but Paco's parents smile when their son brings Chad home. Their friendship has evolved with the ferocity of a wolf pack by the time Paco's great-grandfather tells him he's a two-spirit. Will his parents accept their son for who he is? Do they know? Looking at sexual abuse, alcoholism, recovery, and the prejudice in cultural expectations, this book is the first in the series narrated by Paco and his pack.
Chad Tarzinsky grown up narrates through sonnets about Paco, Joe, Sofia, and the caverns of adulthood. The order below is the sequence of composition; the characters' ages go in a different order. Here's a breakdown of the books' chronologies to help you keep track of who talks about when:
Paco and Chad were only twelve year olds at the beginning of Paco the Great, narrated by Paco.
They're seventeen in The Book of Jeremiah, narrated by Jeremy in his senior year.
Elias narrates Called to the Mat; he's twenty-two but goes way back in the beginning of the novel.
Rotten Kid, an experimental book told by Chad, happens in eighth grade, and although Paco and the wrestlers are in it, the happenings show Chad outside the wrestling room; you really get to know Adam Shapiro and Chad's psychotherapist.
Adam's Sins is the chronological first, happening even before Paco the Great. This experimental novel is the only one told in third person point of view. It elaborates the precise nature of sexual abuse upon Adam Shapiro, the foster kid who moves in across the street from Chad Tarzinsky and Good Neighbor Sam. This novel highlights one of the three great heroines in the Thunder Boy Series, but so far it is the only place to get to know Adam's foster mom. (The other great heroines are Sofia De Colores in all the books and Megalomania Apollosios in Sunny Day, Rainy Boy.)
On My Knees is John's first rapid fire, in your face "speaker meeting" type drunkalog and recoverylog. He starts out about thirteen and ends up seventeen.
Rocks is the second Jeremy novel. He's eighteen and has graduated. The author finished the first draft in the fall of 1997, then elaborated and revised it, tripling its size until 2003 when he graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing; this was his thesis.
Grass Boy is a big top secret book that is so out there that it helped the writer grow up in myriad methods. Only a few people have heard any of it because the author hopes to have it on big store shelves someday and wants it polished; it's still in first draft. Chad's uncle Chuckie narrates, and Chad & Co. are seventeen.
Sunny Day, Rainy Boy is John's second narration, and now the boys are turning 23. The writer character, Adam Apollosios, is 32 going on 33.
The new book, Cute Little Monster, is Chad's second narration. He is 29 and sober one year after his Saturn return. The writer character, Adam A., is now 38.
John De Colores paints a candid picture of the teen pop icon Elias and what it was really like to be his number one fan. This explicit account of Boy Blue's socio-spiritual psyche branches into areas of the family tree where bats hang and gnomes hide from their mainstream judges. Come now, who would dare imagine that a young man of so many blessings could possibly have escaped their counterpart curses.
This chapter comes from Sunny Day, Rainy Boy, the author's ninth and last novel.