About Those Gypsies on Rio Hondo Parkway


About Those Gypsies on Rio Hondo Parkway

Front CoverIn the early 1950s a family moves across town to a neighborhood of green lawns, white picket fences, and modest homes. The kids explore their large corner lot on Rio Hondo Parkway, climbing some of the dozens of walnut trees, and running through weeds and a rambling assortment of wildflowers. They’ve got it all . . . except for a house.

Dad throws up a huge Army surplus tent which serves as their home until he can build them their dream house. The family’s thirst for a slice of America’s new found economic energy of the 1950s is tempered by their memories of the war and the Great Depression.

Dad is squeezed by a ninety-day tent permit, and everyone is antsy about the threat of a union strike, money problems, and other unforeseen misfortune, any of which, if realized, could delay or shut down the construction of the house.

Against this backdrop, Paul Kemble, Christopher’s hard-headed, perfectionist older brother, struggles against the neighborhood bully—Verlin Smoot . . .

Paul would prefer to help with the house, do some cooking, and boss his younger siblings around.

From his office, a creaky old outhouse—a throwaway from a neighbor—Paul researches his basic psychology book looking to track down an out of sort personality such as Smoot’s that will lead him to some clues in putting a stop to this relentless thug.

Those Gypsies on Rio Hondo Parkway is middle grade fiction replete with a splash of local history, wonderful characters, a warm heart, quick and limber humor, and a story the author ‘lived’ as a child for three years-the inspiration for the work.

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About The Illustrator


JULISSA MORA was born and raised in Miami of Cuban descent.  As a child she developed a passion for drawing that never left her heart.  Her clients include American Girl, American Greeting Corp., McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, Scholastic, and more.

Julissa lives and works out of her studio in a quaint and historic neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY.


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