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CIAO, BAMBINO
Author: Anthony M. Gesamondo, Jr.
Genre: Non-Fiction

Registry #: non002

 

It is 1961. The setting is a heavily Italian neighborhood north of Boston. Anthony is an eleven-year-old boy who enjoys two loves: family and baseball.

In chapter One, we learn about the changing world in which Anthony lives. President Kennedy and his wife are very different from the last occupants of the White House. Manned space flight is in its infancy. We are introduced to Anthony's family and learn how they came to this country.

Chapter Two begins a second story line that runs throughout this work, the chase of Babe Ruth's home run record by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. We learn that the Yankees had lost the World Series in 1960 and that Anthony's father is a Yankee fan which makes him less welcomed in the Boston area.

Chapter Three begins the narritive of the adventures that are the basis for the rest of the story. An encounter with a "child molester" turns out to be harmless, a "Sweet-16" party goes awry, Anthony and his friend enrage a contractor with some misguided rock throwing and we journey to Yankee Stadium for a birthday celebration. Through these and other events, our main character learns the lessons that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

The most important lessons, however, are clearly those that Anthony learns from his father, who uses every day situations to teach his children about life, family and the importance of being an American. In defending his wife, carring his children through a blizzard, and teaching our young hero about a father's love for his family, "Pop" shines through as the real hero of the story.

The historical allusions that dot the piece, as well as the discussion of Sicilian hertiage give "Ciao, Bambino" some social significance, but it is the humorous telling of the stories and the tenderness of the relationship of the author to his father that are its most compelling aspects.

The title reflects both the passing of two of Babe Ruth's records and the passing of the protagonist's youth.

(Ciao, Bambino, Non-fiction; one summer in a boy's life; straight non-fiction;57 pages;22,500 words)

 

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