- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (August 18, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803739109
- ISBN-13: 978-0803739109
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Into the Dangerous World Hardcover – August 18, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Ror is an artist. Growing up on a commune on Staten Island during the 1970s and 1980s allowed her to explore this aspect of herself. Her father, also an artist, burns down their home while he is inside it. Now Ror, her mother, and her sister, must learn to live in Regan-era Brooklyn with very limited resources. The teen has never been to high school but has learned much about art and literature from her father. The only course she cares about is her art class. There she meets Trey. He is a street artist, and Ror becomes fascinated with graffiti and is eager to join his crew. The protagonist learns to appreciate this new art form but is also scared of the risks associated with getting caught. Eventually, she recognizes that she needs to trust her own instincts, listen to mentors, and not rely entirely on her growing feelings for Trey to guide her art. Ror is a prickly but fully realized character to whom artistic teens will relate. Superville Sovak channels Ror and provides images that illustrate how the teen is experiencing and interpreting the new world around her. VERDICT Fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (St. Martins, 2013) and Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon (Knopf, 2012) who are ready for something a bit grittier will find much to love here.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
"A thought-provoking, beautiful exploration of the artistic process."--Kirkus Reviews
"This bold book wakes us up to an urban tribe that operates in the margins. The powerful, primal art feels so organic to the next, it's hard to imagine one without the other." -- Nikki Grimes, award-winning author of Bronix Masquerade
“Shimmers with authenticity and the actual dynamics of what it’s like to be a teenager facing both the volatile world of street art and the insular nature of high art. Every character feels like someone I’ve known, debating how art fits into their life.”—Ron English, acclaimed street artist, culture jammer, and designer of Popaganda
* "Chibbaro's gritty novel follows Ror as she figures out what type of artist she wants to become while using her drawing to channel her grief. Illustrator Sovak, Chibbaro's husband and collaborator on 2011's Deadly, skillfully conveys Ror's artistic talent in vibrant and emotionally resonant b&w sketches. ... Period references (Blondie, Keith Haring, the Reagan administration) provide context, yet the book feels modern and relevant as this striking combination of story and illustration creates a powerful portrait of a budding artist."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Top customer reviews
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The book begins with Ror's life as she has always known it crumbling down around her. With little support, she's left to pick up the remaining pieces and figure out what to do with them. Pulled in different directions and not knowing who to trust, including her own instincts and emotions, she struggles to find her place in the world.
The honestly of the characters, each beautifully flawed in their own way, keeps you rooting for them to pull themselves out of the mess that has been created for them.
The illustrations, particularly the visuals of the artwork described in the novel, were beautiful and intricate and helps the reader feel like part of the story.
I was unable to put this book down and finished it quickly, and was sad to say goodbye to the characters when it was over.
One thing I did not realize going into this book is the era in which it covers. This is the era of my childhood (although, and I have to admit this to make myself feel better, I was not quite a teenager during this time), this was a time that our society found itself in a bit of an upheaval. The Vietnam War had only 'ended' ten years prior to the stories timeline, We were on the cusp of the Cold War, the idealism of the 60's and 70's had come seemingly to a screeching halt as people struggled to find a new identity in a post wartime world where government, inflation, conservatism, and materialism had begun to explode. This is a time where a generation of teens were lost in the fray, trying to find their own places as they began to mature and come into themselves, a time where a lost generation of children were trying to fight the changes around them and find their voices.
All that being said...Teens of today's world, do not set this book aside as the book of your parents generation. Do not think that this is a story that won't resonate with you because it came from a time before you were a blip in the atmosphere. Do not think that because this book is as much a history book as it is a fiction story that you won't find it interesting because in each of these things you would find yourself mistaken. This book is a book that can and will open your eyes to the world that was being shaped while your parents were your age now. This is a book about self discovery, about fears, and desires. A book about finding your place in this huge machine of a world, of standing your ground, taking chances, and becoming the person you are meant to be. This is a book that will surely grab your attention and get you asking questions of your teachers and parents. It will remind you that while in each generation we feel like we are the only ones, that no one could ever feel the way we do, or struggle the way you do, YOU are not alone. We may not all travel the same path but we have all been at the same point sometime in our lives...simply said, your parents understand you more than you may ever realize.
Aurora (Ror) is quite the conundrum for me, as much as I think she is for herself actually. She grew up in a faltering commune living by the ideals her father (Dado) set forth and attempted to foster. After tragedy strikes the family, Ror, her mother, and her older sister are forced to now rely on a system which they had shunned, a system which is fundamentally broken and leaves them struggling to survive in the harsh world of New York City's poverty. She is thrown in to the public school system as a sophomore who is artistically inclined, been burned badly enough that she feels the need to cover her head with knit caps, was raised and home schooled in a 'hippie' commune, and taught to fear 'the man'. This would be a Dangerous World to any teenager, a world in which they don't fit in, are labeled, and if not outright bullied then ignored, but this is the world she now has to find her own place in and she begins to do that through her art.
I really would have loved to have more of her story. I would not say that the book ended abruptly but to feel as though you have travelled this incredible journey of self discovery with Ror and never know what happens to her as she goes out 'Into the Dangerous World' was a bit of a downer. I know we should all take that moment to use our own imaginations and see her future through our own eyes, but man I would have liked to have heard it from the author, at least in a epilogue. I think the reasoning is because as I said in the beginning of this review, I felt like this was a truly personal story in many ways and I need to know how it ended from their eyes because I could simply not do it justice.
Readers will love the art in the book, it has a bit of a graphic novel vibe to it, which truly just enhances the story being told. It makes it so much easier to visualize everything Ror and the NoiseInk Crew do, especially for readers like myself who are not artistically inclined, ha. I have to admit to googling 'Fire Pop' and I am still not certain I know exactly what that artistic term means, although I am going with my best guess, haha. I am a HUGE fan of e-readers as many of you know and I did read this book as an e-copy but I think in this case this is a definite hard copy kind of book. I think having the ability to physically touch the pages, the art would make the connection to this story even more emotional.
This is a great read for young YA readers (14 and up) as well as adults. For me it was a bit of a look back into my history (although I grew up in a very different way) and made me want to search out information that I would not have had about our society when I was a teen. For teens, I think this is an important book of self discovery, of learning to trust yourself. I would love to see this book in high school/college English Lit classes being analyzed and discussed. I think it could truly open a whole new world for people.
**This book does deal with the death of two parents and some of the harsh reality of living in poverty. Please for parents of younger YA readers especially, although I would suggest this to everyone, take the time to discuss this book with your reader!**
Aurora (Ror), her mom, her sister Marilyn and her dad all live in a commune, squatting on land that they don't own and making a home selling things they make and from animal produce. Their dad brings in a few more people into the commune. But their dad isn't all together there and soon everyone leaves but Ror's family. Their dad does something drastic and Ror, Marilyn and her mom are left on their own.
They end up staying at a shelter for a little bit until they can get some kind of housing. Ror didn't like the shelter, she wanted to just go outside and stay somewhere.
The place stank of anonymous farts, pit funk, dollar store perfume.
They end up in this community motel place, which just seems like an old apartment building to me, but anyway, they have a room, a tv, a hot plate and a couple of other things. They have to use a communal bathroom.
Marilyn and her mother want Ror to wear a wig so she doesn't have to wear hats all of the time. The back of her head got burned so she was a bit of a skin head back there. This is Ror's interpretation of what she thought!
I looked in the mirror. I looked like I belonged in that movie Hair. Like some tv hippie. I pulled the headband thing down around my neck, flipped the wig sideways, and bared my teeth. Now I looked like I was in a band with Sid Vicious
Needless to say, Ror didn't wear the wig.
Ror is a really great artist. Even the local man in the paint, etc store thinks she should show her work to galleries. He's nice and I liked his character, his name was Jonathan.
But Ror ends up in a graffiti crew. She drew some really awesome things with this group. I was afraid she would end up doing this and blow her whole supposed future away when she started skipping some school.
It all worked out okay in the end. I'm not sure whatever happened to Ror, but I would like to know if she went on and became something.
There is also some really nice graphics throughout the book.
*I would like to thank Penguin Books and Julie Chibbaro for giving me the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.*