How can Mick break free from a family that won’t let him go?In the second book in the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy, Mick’s brutal brother, Terry, prepares for his annual May Day party. But this is no ordinary party—it’s two full days of disgusting pranks and drunken violence. Terry throws the bash to prove that if you aren’t in his circle, then you’re in his sights. Mick’s parents would rather not know what goes on, so they clear out and leave their sons home alone. Mick doesn’t want to be there when the mayhem ...
How can Mick break free from a family that won’t let him go?In the second book in the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy, Mick’s brutal brother, Terry, prepares for his annual May Day party. But this is no ordinary party—it’s two full days of disgusting pranks and drunken violence. Terry throws the bash to prove that if you aren’t in his circle, then you’re in his sights. Mick’s parents would rather not know what goes on, so they clear out and leave their sons home alone. Mick doesn’t want to be there when the mayhem erupts—but distancing himself from his home and his family will be no easy feat. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Chris Lynch including rare images from the author’s personal collection.
Uneasy with the drunken violence and prejudice of his brother and others in his Irish neighborhood in Boston, Mick makes friends with a somewhat enigmatic Spanish-speaking loner at school.
Not the standard feel-good paperback series, the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy takes a harrowing tour of Irish Boston's mean streets, with 15-year-old Mick as guide. Here is a world inhabited by beings one step down on the evolutionary and social scale from the bullies in Slot Machine: ignorant thugs like Mick's older brother Terry (a terrifying villain if ever there was one), whose idea of fun is to get wildly drunk and beat up non-whites; or get wildly drunk and bet on dog fights; or just get wildly drunk. In this tightly paced examination of inner-city life and race relations, Lynch treads very close to the same ground as Chris Crutcher. However, there are no hip adult role models to smooth the way for the young folks, and forget about the protagonist winding up with the girl of his dreams (although he does bed a friend's mother between titles 2 and 3). After enduring beatings, alcoholic excess and humiliations too numerous to catalogue, Mick is ultimately able to rise above his milieu, but the pervasive violence and morally ambiguous resolution make this series even more disquieting than Gypsy Davey. A powerful, thought-provoking and disturbing trilogyfor those who have the stomach for it. (Mick and Blood, Mar.; Dog, June)
- Susie Wilde
The three books in the "Blue-Eyed Son" series: Mick, Blood Relations, and Dog Eat Dog, all center on Mick and his Irish-American poverty. Mick grows up in a blue-collar Irish home where he's been raised on a steady diet of alcohol, racism, profanity, gangs, and brutality. He feels "as if I were at the beach and there was a wicked undertow and I didn't know how to swim, so I couldn't get out of the damn water to save my life." Mick's actions are often less than admirable and his reactions sometimes shocking and callous.. He sleeps with his best friend's mother, burns down the room of a family willing to take him in, and befriends a dog for the purpose of pitting him against his brother's canine in a deadly fight. What redeems Mick is his struggle to be human; to disentangle himself from the web of ugliness that has held him from birth, to resist his payback mentality; to reinvent himself in a environment that does not encourage change. Lynch's writing is ragged and sure to make readers uncomfortable. He swings from literary metaphors to crass dialogue, and his descriptions are as often as ugly as the story's events. Lynch's style places readers in a literary world that is a metaphor for the world of Mick, who is in a perpetual state of trying to recover from one blow before the next lands. This is the first book in the trilogy.
- Tim Whitney
When Mick was younger, Sycamore Street was made up of all blue-collar Irish families. But now the city of Boston has changed, with a checkerboard design of families from different ethnic backgrounds. Fifteen-year-old Mick finds himself to be changed, too; he can no longer accept and participate in the violence that his older brother Terry inflicts upon those who happen not to be white. In this first book of the "Blue-Eyed-Son" series, Mick struggles to stand against the prejudice and bigotry of those like him and to gain the friendship of those not like him, the surprise-filled and street-wise Toy and the irresistible Evelyn. Gritty realism fills this story told from Mick's point-of-view. The other titles are Blood Relations and Dog Eat Dog.
The ALAN Review
- Jim Brewbaker
In Mick, Chris Lynch turns an unblinking eye toward American ethnicity at its worst. Mick is a Bostonian, a fifteen-year-old Irish Catholic. His friends are bigots and heavy drinkers. They settle their disputes violently. Their houses smell of sweat, beer, urine, and worse. Mick's neighborhood is changing; Blacks and Asians live nearby. Cambodians and Gays march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, which provokes violence from Mick's brother and his roughneck friends. Described by Lynch, the scene is terrifying. Mick, influenced by Toy and the intelligent, straight-talking Evelyn, Hispanic school friends, wants to break out of the neighborhood mold. This turns out to be easier said than done. Chris Lynch, a new voice among realistic YA writers, has a winner in Mick, the first of three titles in the Blue-Eyed Son series, which concludes with Blood Relations and Dog Eat Dog.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10For 15-year-old Mick, life becomes complicated when he questions the values with which he has been raised in his close-knit Irish community. His troubles begin on St. Patrick's Day, when his bigoted friends and older brother sabotage the local parade, pelting the neighborhood Cambodian merchants with eggs. Although he detests his companions' actions, Mick is physically coerced into throwing an egg, which hits a Cambodian woman. News coverage of the incident makes Mick a hero in the neighborhood bar, but it also makes him a social outcast at school and the target of angry Asian students. Only a tough, mysterious classmate, Toy, who witnessed the incident, will associate with Mick, who doesn't decide exactly where he belongs, but who realizes that it is not with his racist friends and family. With realistic street language and an in-your-face writing style that complements the plot, Lynch immerses readers in Mick's world of alcohol, racism, and dysfunction, out of which emerges a noble anti-hero who risks physical danger and alienation for the sake of doing what is right. Not all of the conflicts are resolved, which will leave fans of the novel eager to read the second in the series.Kelly Diller, Humboldt High School, IA