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Lakeshore Press/East, 1205 Hague Av., St. Paul MN 55104 USA
As the ’60s unfold, Gabe Sykes and his cohorts Hawk, Milnor and Luke the Spook are in free fall and sliding into the whirlpool of teen life. The only place that doesn’t feel like alien territory to them is Paradiso Park, a sprawling amusement park just a few blocks from Gabe’s house that offers cheap thrills all its own. It’s here that they hunt girls, devise mischief and watch the city hoods cut loose.
Above all, Paradiso Park offers them action—and a self-contained sphere in which their well-honed skills can conquer the drag of the outside world’s demands. But it takes two girls to really change the scene. One is Freud, a stick-insect loudmouth who is Gabe’s only competition in schoolyard arguing and a constant prod on new musical sounds. The other is white-blonde vision Gloria—wild to travel the world and with no use for the standard boy/girl teen roles.
Who holds the key to what he needs to learn? How can he know when it’s time to leave Paradiso Park for good—and when he does, who will he become?
Daniel Gabriel grew up within earshot of the legendary Excelsior Amusement Park on the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. Between the lakeshore Commons, the amusement park, and iconic Big Reggie’s Danceland across the road, it was a landscape replete with diversions—and characters, many of whom appear in this book.