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KLIATTTo quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2005: In Medellin, Colombia, "gangsters rule" and "the gun speaks louder than words." Sonny and his hulking best friend Alberto dream of being soccer stars, but know they must bring in money to help support their fatherless households. They start out at age 10 running cigarettes for a local storekeeper who is connected to a feared local mobster and drug-runner, El Fantasma. When they walk in on a robbery in the store and Alberto saves the storekeeper by beating the robber to death, he is soon given a gun to carry by El Fantasma himself and promoted to assassin--the law won't jail a minor for murder. Sonny is terrified but envious of Alberto's new power, and when Sonny's abusive uncle beats him up and Alberto shoots the man in the foot, Sonny is determined to work for El Fantasma and have a gun too. One day, Alberto goes out on a job and doesn't return; and Sonny realizes that despite the gun, the same fate awaits him, and that he is helpless to change this. This spare and disturbing tale is based on real events, according to the author, and he makes Sonny's impoverished, violent, hopeless world all too real to the reader. The title and the cover, featuring a young man's bare back with a tattoo of angel wings and a gun stuck in the waistband of his jeans, are sure to get attention. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, HarperCollins, 153p., $6.99.. Ages 12 to 18.