Kicking The Sky

Hardcover | September 10, 2013

byAnthony De Sa

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On a steamy summer day in 1977, Emanuel Jaques was shining shoes in downtown Toronto. Surrounded by the strip clubs, bars and body rub parlors of Yonge Street, Emanuel was lured away from his friends by a man who promised some easy money. Four days later the boy's body was discovered. He had been brutally raped and murdered, and Toronto the Good would never be the same. The murder of the Shoeshine Boy had particularly tragic resonance for the city's Portuguese community. The loss of one of their own symbolized for many how far they were from realizing their immigrant dreams.
     Kicking the Sky is told from the perspective of one of these children, Antonio Rebelo, a character first introduced in Barnacle Love. Twelve-year-old Antonio prizes his life of freedom and adventure. He and his best friends, Manny and Ricky, spend their days on their bikes exploring the labyrinth of laneways that link their Portuguese neighborhood to the rest of the city. But as the details of Emanuel's death expose Toronto's seedier underbelly, the boys are pulled into an adult world of danger and cruelty, secrets and lies much closer to home.
     Kicking the Sky is a novel driven by dramatic events, taking hold of readers from its opening pages, intensifying its force towards an ending of huge emotional impact.

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From the Publisher

On a steamy summer day in 1977, Emanuel Jaques was shining shoes in downtown Toronto. Surrounded by the strip clubs, bars and body rub parlors of Yonge Street, Emanuel was lured away from his friends by a man who promised some easy money. Four days later the boy's body was discovered. He had been brutally raped and murdered, and Toront...

ANTHONY DE SA grew up in Toronto's Portuguese community. His short fiction has been published in several North American literary magazines. He attended the Humber School for Writers and now heads the English department and directs the creative writing program at a high school for the arts. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three so...

other books by Anthony De Sa

Barnacle Love
Barnacle Love

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.57 × 5.95 × 1.16 inPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385664389

ISBN - 13:9780385664387

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Heartbreaking. Couldn't put this book down.
Date published: 2016-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gripping story about Toronto This book is an emotional drama that packs several solid punches. You don't need to be from Toronto to enjoy it, but a familiarity with the Portuguese neighbourhood described in its pages added to the emotional impact.
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this book! Maybe because I can relate to the culture and understand the Portuguese language (I'm Portuguese too). This book was a real eye opener for a period of time, before I was born and a decade before my family moved to Canada.
Date published: 2014-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the read Great read even though many parts were disturbing.  Antonio's world fascinated and frightened me but I kept reading.  I remember the summer of 1977 in Toronto and the author captured it in great detail.
Date published: 2013-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well Written Disturbing Read I am going to warn that this book is violent and disturbing. I would have given 3 1/2 maple leafs but that option is not avaialbe. Narrated by a twelve-year old boy from Portugese neigbourhood in Toronto, Canada after the death of a young boy who was raped and murdered (true story). It is the children not being able to be children and are forced into ugly adult world where they are sexually, mentally and physically abused by people they trust. It's well written but at times I felt that some parts felt forced and unnecessary.
Date published: 2013-08-07

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Editorial Reviews

“The novel remains an impressive achievement: a synthesis of two fraught worlds. It reminds us that hidden gay lives blossom, or shrivel, inside every larger community. Kicking the Sky bridges its polarized worlds, staying true to the humanity in each. It’s one of the best things fiction can do.” —National Post  “Anthony De Sa may be the most impressive two-book-oeuvre writer in Canada. . . .De Sa, who is described on the book’s cover as a librarian-teacher in Toronto, has given us a beguiling coming-of-age story – harked back to an event that shocked the country and had massive repercussions – and at the same time managed to beautifully capture a community and an era.” —The Globe and Mail  “De Sa tells his story with a sure hand. Emotion is balanced by dark humour. . . . Kicking the Sky is a rich and compulsively readable addition to the fiction of [Toronto], a novel that, like most of the good ones, is funny, heart-breaking and humane.” —Toronto Star