Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
Skinny Bones is a teenage Puerto Rican girl struggling to adapt to life in a multifamily apartment building in Paterson, New Jersey. She lives in a former Jewish neighborhood that is now inhabited mostly by Puerto Ricans and African Americans. As a loner, Skinny Bones is attracted to marginalized individuals like herself. She finds her soulmate in Eugene, a shy teenager who has recently come from south Georgia. Because of his marked southern accent he is soon dubbed “the Hick,” and he becomes the school’s newest object of ridicule, joining Skinny Bones as an outcast. Skinny Bones falls in love with Eugene, and they soon become inseparable, despite their cultural differences. Eugene, a bright student, tutors Skinny Bones in several subjects. Although Skinny Bones is a good student, she is not admitted to advanced courses because English is not her first language.
The story’s climax occurs when Skinny Bones accepts Eugene’s invitation to a tutorial session at his home, immediately across from her own apartment building. She accepts gladly because she has been wanting to meet Eugene’s family. After having watched his kitchen from her own apartment, Skinny Bones is particularly interested in Eugene’s mother, “a red-headed tall woman.” Their study date, however, is almost interrupted by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Skinny Bones must convince her grieving mother to allow her to go to Eugene’s house instead of going to...
(The entire section is 347 words.)
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