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Paperback, 6″x9″
238 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63381-094-5


by Miriam Sidanius

“A subdued urban narrative that neither minces words nor pulls punches.”
Kirkus Reviews

In a Los Angeles suburb with graffiti-etched palm trees, Paco sells dope in front of the apartment building where fourteen-year-old Luis lives with an overprotective family. The two form a relationship when Luis sells Paco’s marijuana for money to buy his sister a birthday present. Paco never expected to live past his teens, but when his twentieth birthday approaches, he is forced to challenge the choices which brought him to the brink of adulthood with so few options. Paco wants off the street. Luis just wants a girlfriend, and Paco’s marijuana gives him an unexpected opportunity. Their relationship takes a dark turn when Paco ensnares the younger boy in a life-changing crime. Both are forced to confront the paths they have chosen.


Miriam Sidanius grew up in Southern California. She received a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from California State University, Los Angeles and worked in that field for several years before taking a sabbatical to teach English as a second language in Japan. She began her writing career as a poet, publishing several poems both in a California and Japan. When she returned to California, she earned a secondary teaching credential and taught high school English at Monroe High School for ten years, which inspired the novel Five Blocks Down. She moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, a professor of psychology, in 2006. Miriam currently teaches literature and composition at Quincy College and is completing her second novel, Glowflies on the Face of God.