The Glass Cafe: Or the Stripper and the State: How My Mother Started a War with the System That Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famousby Gary Paulsen, Todd Haberkorn
Tony’s mom, Al, is a terrific single mother who works as a dancer at the Kitty Kat Club. Twelve-year-old Tony is a budding artist, inspired by backstage life at the club. When some of his drawings end up in an art show and catch the attention of the social services agency, Al and Tony find themselves in the
The story is all true and happened to me and is mine.
Tony’s mom, Al, is a terrific single mother who works as a dancer at the Kitty Kat Club. Twelve-year-old Tony is a budding artist, inspired by backstage life at the club. When some of his drawings end up in an art show and catch the attention of the social services agency, Al and Tony find themselves in the middle of a legal wrangle and a media circus. Is Al a responsible mother? It’s the case of the stripper vs. the state, and Al isn’t giving Tony up without a fight.
Once again Gary Paulsen proved why he’s one of America’s most beloved writers. The Glass Café is a fresh and funny exploration of motherhood, art and the wiles of storytelling – all told by Tony, in his own true voice.
Matthew Weaver <%ISBN%>0385324995
- Brilliance Audio
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 14 Years
Read an Excerpt
So you know my name is Tony and I am twelve and my mother who is named Alice except nobody calls her that, they all call her Al, like she was a guy only she isn’t, is a stripper, only it’s called exotic dancing, at a club called the Kitty Kat, except that everybody calls it the Zoo on account of an animal act they used to have but don’t anymore because the humane society said it was wrong to use snakes out of their “natural element” although Muriel, who danced with a seven-foot boa named Steve, swore that the snake slept through the whole dance except I know Steve who lives in the dressing room in a glass case and I can’t tell if he’s sleeping or not because he never closes his eyes.
This is what I like.
I like double bacon cheeseburgers and vanilla shakes.
I like school where I get pretty good grades in everything except gym and sometimes math when it doesn’t make any sense to me like when we have to figure out two trains traveling at different speeds and which one will get to a place called Parkerville first. There is never a place called Parkerville in real life and hardly any trains go anywhere anymore and why would two trains be trying to get to place called Parkerville in the first place? It’s just silly.
I like Melissa Davidson who is twelve and has short hair and sparks and crackles when she gets mad. A lot. I mean I like her a lot.
I like art and always carry a sketch pad and a couple of soft pencils and draw every chance I get, which is really how the trouble started but I’ll talk more about that later after I do what Ms. Providge the English teacher calls “developing the structure and character” of the story. This story. This story about my life.
I like dogs except that I’m not supposed to have one because the apartment we live in won’t allow pets which doesn’t seem right because they allow a biker and his woman to live there and a dog is a lot cleaner than a biker. Or at least this biker, who is named Short Man and is so dumb he tried to drink gasoline one day just because it was in a beer bottle and he spit it out on a lit barbecue grill and there were barbecued chicken parts all over the apartment compound and I heard he didn’t have a hair left on his head. I know plenty of dogs smarter than that. So I keep trying on the dog thing, doing what Al calls pushing the envelope by bringing them to visit sometimes. Or to be honest every chance I get.
I like Corvettes. I know it’s not cool to like them as much as foreign cars but I read the car magazines in the drugstore owned by Foo Won on the corner when he doesn’t catch me. Corvettes, it said in one article I read, are a Greatly Underestimated Force to be Reckoned with in the Muscle Car Arena. Of course I don’t have a Corvette but Al said if I want one bad enough and work hard enough I can have one someday when I’m old enough to drive. I would like to have a good car for the muscle car arena.
I like baseball and my favorite team changes some because it started with the Braves and then went to the Padres and then the Yankees and now I’m back to the Braves but I’m definitely leaning back toward the Padres.
I do not like skateboards, or I should say I guess I like them but I don’t skateboard anymore because I tried it once without a helmet and hit the concrete so hard I saw flashes of color from one Wednesday to Friday in the next week. I didn’t dare to tell Al because she would have taken me to the doctor which she does even if I’m a little sick and not seeing flashes of colors in my head.
I like bicycling. I have an old clunker Schwinn five-speed that looks so bad nobody will steal it except that I took it all apart and the bearings and all the internal parts are slick and new.
I like Coke, not the kind you snort up your nose like Magdalene did until Al got her into treatment and she has two years and two months straight now but the kind you drink from a bottle and I put peanuts in the bottle and drink the Coke and eat the peanuts.
I like Fiji. That’s an island country in the South Pacific and I read all about it in a travel magazine at Foo Won’s store. I’ll go there someday when I am (a) an adult, (b) successful and (c) have a Corvette and maybe (d) married to Melissa which is all part of the list I have for my Life Plan. I don’t want to live in Fiji but just visit there after I am certified on scuba gear and can dive, because the diving is supposed to be absolutely stellar there according to the magazine although I always thought stellar meant something to do with the stars.
I do not like television but I used to like TV until Al said it was sucking the brain out of me and hit the set in just the right place to kill it with a small hammer we use to unstick the kitchen window when it’s hot and we want it open because the air conditioner only cools the living room and doesn’t blow into the kitchen and now it doesn’t work. The TV I mean. It hisses and pops but there’s no picture or sound. Then Al made me go with her to the library and I got dozens of books even though I didn’t read much then but do now and twice a week we have literary discussion evenings about books we have both read that week. We never had television discussion evenings twice a week when I watched TV and now I don’t like it anymore. TV I mean. And I don’t watch it at all even when I’m visiting Waylon who is my best outside friend and who is twelve and who has television and is maybe even a tube head and also does not have television or literary discussion evenings twice a week in his home. I think mostly because Waylon says his folks both work hard and are never really home. But Al works hard too, and is home almost all the time when she isn’t working.
Meet the Author
Three-time Newbery-winning author Gary Paulsen, hailed as "one of the best-loved writers alive" by the New York Times, divides his time between his ranch in New Mexico, a sailboat on the Pacific Ocean, and his dog-kennel in Alaska. He's written over 200 books for young people, stories that have been embraced by readers of all ages.
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The Glass Cafe is a book where a young boy named Anthony. His mom is a stripper. Her name is Alice, but most people call her Al. She is a single parent who has to who has to be an exotic dancer to support her family. She would like to be an English teacher, but can't afford the schooling. Anthony the main character and the person who also tells the story is very into art. He goes to school one day and has art class. His teacher shows the class multiple forms of art most of them are almost naked women. Then he asks his teacher why most of the paintings are of women. He then started to take an interest in painting women, but he did not have a model to paint. He asked his mom if he could go to the club in the dressing room and paint the women. He then takes it to school and shows his art teacher. She takes them and submits them. They are put on display. Then a child protectant agency saw the paintings and leared that a child painted them. They found out where he lived and went to talk to him and his mother. They kept touching Anthony and Al freaked out on the cop that was touching Anthony. She hit him with a lamp and he was knocked unconscious. The lady that came to talk to them went and called for backup. The backup that came did not go to the right apartment though. They went to there neighbors apartment who is a motorcycle rider who has been in trouble previously. Anthony and his mom go outside to watch all the police cars come to the apartments when the police discover that they are going after the wrong person. They then go get them and go to court. By : Lucas Bahr
if you like a book that keep you on your feet then this is a book for you. At first the book starts out slow but gets better after the first 4 chapterds. I would like to worn you that Tony one of the main people in the book likes to talk a lot. Sometimes we will talk for a hole chapter about randum stuff. Still over all i thought this was a great book; its also a easy book to read it goes by fast!
I had to choose two books for reports over the summer and The Glass Cafe was one of them. Even though I am only on chapter 4 I am really into this book. I would recomend it to people of ages 12 and up because of some words and things used through out this book.