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The Prince of Steel Pier

Middle Grade Literature.jpg

All four of the Goodman brothers have summer jobs but none of them as dangerous as Joey’s. This summer, much to his own surprise, he’s working for a gangster.


The Atlantic City Boardwalk in the summer of 1975 is no place for a kid like 13-year-old Joey Goodman: anxious, fearful, prone to puking at any moment. His close-knit Jewish family babies him, even though he has a younger brother. All Joey wants is to prove his mettle, to his family, to himself, and maybe, to the world.


On his way to a Boardwalk arcade, Joey confronts a group of unsavory men who have stolen his bag of prize tickets, demanding that they return his belongings. With this bold act, Joey impresses the so-called king of Steel Pier, kingpin Artie Bishop. As Joey enters Artie’s world on the Boardwalk, he finds a place to belong, to feel important. Artie even hires Joey to chaperone his daughter for a couple of weeks. But running with Artie and his crew means questioning everything he sees and deceiving the people he loves most. And when Artie asks Joey for a very dangerous favor that puts his family’s lives at risk, Joey must decide what strength really means to him and what price he's willing to pay for it.

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