|About the Book|
Avrahmel Mielnick is a precocious fourteen-year-old yeshiva student with an IQ that is off the charts and a strange proclivity for burning down garages, especially those belonging to people who torment him. Caught in the maze of racial transitionMoreAvrahmel Mielnick is a precocious fourteen-year-old yeshiva student with an IQ that is off the charts and a strange proclivity for burning down garages, especially those belonging to people who torment him. Caught in the maze of racial transition that encompassed Chicagos Lawndale during the early 1950s, Avrahmels once-secure and predictable world begins to come apart as he and his teenage friends become pawns in a conflict between Chicagos political machine attempting to stop the growth of black political power and a black leadership increasingly growing impatient with the pace of the citys acquiescence to its demands for recognition. Although a work of fiction, Fourteenth Street is inspired by real people and real events. It is the story of a tempestuous time in our urban history that saw the racial transformation of Americas Northern cities. This is a story told in the rage and violence of teenagers, black and white, Jew and gentile, culminating in violence, murder, and fire. Witnessing the murder of a black friend, Avrahmel must overcome the calculated apathy of the political structure not to seek prosecution. To achieve justice that knows no racial boundaries, Avrahmel ultimately calls on his religious sense of duty and puts himself in harms way to challenge a corrupt political systems attempt to demean a life because it was the wrong color. The events that inspired this work led to a controversial and precedent-setting legal decision.