’70s cultures clash when a kid from the Bronx joins his wealthy preppy classmates from prestigious Westchester County.

Bronx River North
by John B. Dolgetta

Set at an upscale prep school in the Bronx, New York at the end of the sixties, Bronx River North is the story of the improbable, yet dynamic relationship of a blue-collar local kid and four well-heeled commuters from the suburbs just north of the city.  Johnny DiDomenico is one of a handful of Bronx kids who beats the odds and gets accepted to the prestigious Valdesian Academy of Saint Killian. The Westchester Boys befriend the Bronx native, and their high school adventure places their worlds on an emotional and ethical collision course.  Their interactions will parallel the social revolutions of their generation, replete with rebellion against the stoicism of the Valdesians, the conformist lives of their parents, and the moral demands of their religion.The interplay of disparate teenage lives becomes an expose’ on the divergence of wealth and privilege in an America clamoring for social changes.  The stark images of the working class neighborhood of the Bronx, just a few miles away, is a vivid contrast to the neat, orderly and stately lanes of Westchester County, and in particular the affluent village of Bronxdale. Intrigued by their differences, the boys will shuttle into each other’s worlds with hard lessons learned and innocence lost on the opposite side of the proverbial tracks.

ISBN 978-1-945146-33-6 • 6 x 9 . paperback • 430 pgs • $26.95

“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

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“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