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The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
In The Fortress of Solitude, Dylan Edbus and his artistic, hippie parents moved to a Brooklyn street in the 1970s, where he is the only white boy in the neighborhood. His mother leaves and his father disappears into his studio to work on his animation masterpiece. Dylan is bullied and shook down on the way to school every day, and longs just to be invisible. His finally becomes friends with a black boy named Mingus, who also has an absent mother and a father who has retreated into himself. Together they explored their early adolescent life, filled with comic books, superheroes, graffiti, and ring that allows them to fly. Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude has received high praise for his portrayal of two boys trying to find themselves in a world of neglect, race, gentrification, crime, drugs, and friendship. The Rocky Mountain News says, "This is a novel to be savored, a book to be read slowly, a process of discovery for the reader, just as it is for the protagonist. The Fortress of Solitude is this generation's Catcher in the Rye, and Dylan Edbus its Holden Caulfield."