“Wow, this book should be made into a movie. We all went through this phase of high school days when we were so innocent. It pretty much mirrors the real-life experience of growing up in the Bronx with a bunch of Italian and Irish boys. I was not Irish or Italian but I was accepted into the group and I am so thankful for being part of that cherished moment of our lives. . . Boys from the “Prep” are a special bunch and it really defines who we are today.” —Paul Okura
“This novel goes beyond the simple stereotypical “rite of passage” and brings to life the 60s culture while weaving in a colorful world of teenage exploration that appeals to adolescents as well as adults alike. Visit the Bronx River North, you will not regret it!
“Exquisitely written, Mr. Dolgetta delves into the adolescent psyche with life in the Bronx during the late 1960s. I just loved Johnny D, the main character, right from the start; he grounded the gang as they traversed through teenage angst, anxiety, love, insecurity, confusion, tragedy, sexual energy, cultural vices, social and economic clashes. I was drawn in by these diverse and complicated characters trying to live by their “Code.” Bronx River North reminds me of Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants; you find something distinctive and unique in every character. Each encounter left me excited, energized, angry, or wanting. The gang slip and slide through a hormonal sluice while dealing with the moral and religious convictions most young adults face. Buzzy, the “All-American” kid whose just got it all; Spanks, the religious, preachy teen; BP, the rebellious, father-oppressed “big talker”; Lisa, Robin, and Annmarie, each come with diverse feminist perspectives of the world. Then, Johnny D enlightens us with his “good kid” personality, innocence, and litany of life questions (most of which, he asks himself) as he tangles with Valdesian private school, the blue collar Bronx, and Bronxdale riches. I just had to keep reading to see what they’d each do next.
“Mr. Dolgetta’s sophisticated prose smacks you in the face with the raw emotion and the truth of life. This book will be enjoyed by anyone who seeks a tumultuous ride through young adulthood. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.” —Fran Gordon
John B. Dolgetta:
“My experiences include early years in the Little Italy neighborhood of the Bronx, kept honest by tough nuns and an even tougher mother. As a teen, we moved to Southern Italy to start a new life which ran out of steam after five years. I traded baseball for soccer, graffiti for oils on canvas, comic books for Greek and Roman Mythology and ham and cheese on white bread for prosciutto panini.
I came back to the States a very changed young man, forced to jumpstart an almost forgotten lifestyle. It was 1969 and I was a fifteen-year-old being shaped by all the social upheaval of that period. I continued to live in the Bronx, attending Fordham Prep and Fordham University on the Rose Hill Campus, absorbing and doing battle with authoritarian, unyielding Jesuits.
I stayed with Fordham Graduate to complete my MA in American Government and Comparative Politics and went back to the Prep to teach Italian and Political Science. I decided to stay in the teaching field, eventually landing in a suburban school district.
My passions have always been to travel, read as many books as I can, and to write.”
—John B. Dolgetta