Cover image for Son of the mob
Son of the mob
Korman, Gordon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [2002]

Physical Description:
262 pages ; 21 cm
Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent.
Reading Level:
690 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.8 8.0 61177.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.1 13 Quiz: 31931 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids--his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization. Needless to say, while Vince's family's connections can be handy for certain things (like when teachers are afraid to give him a bad grade), they can put a serious crimp in his dating life. How is he supposed to explain to a girl what his father does for a living? But when Vince meets a girl who finally seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent--the one who wants to put his father away for good.

Author Notes

Gordon Korman was born in Montreal, Canada on October 23, 1963. When his 7th-grade English teacher told the class they could have 45 minutes a day for four months to work on a story of their choice, Korman began This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. He was also the class monitor for the Scholastic TAB Book Club, so he sent his novel to the address on the TAB flyer, and a few days after his 14th birthday, he had a book contract with Scholastic.

By the time he graduated from high school, he had published five other novels and several articles for Canadian newspapers. He received a BFA degree from New York University with a major in Dramatic Writing and a minor in Film and TV. He has written over 75 books for children and young adults including the Swindle series, The Juvie Three, and two books of poetry written by the fictional character Jeremy Bloom.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-8. The Sopranos meets Romeo and Juliet in this briskly comic romance, costarring a crime kingpin's son and an FBI agent's daughter. Tony and Kendra are mad for each other, but that doesn't mean that Tony is ready to tell Kendra who his father is--especially after his horrifying discovery that her father is on the listening end of the bugs and wiretaps scattered through his house. Realizing that it wouldn't be wise for either dad to find out what's what, Tony has to do some fancy footwork to keep the fathers, and Kendra's suspicions, at bay--a task considerably complicated by his unwilling involvement with a pair of petty hoodlums. Stubbornly battling to preserve his illusion that the family "business" has nothing to do with him, Tony presents a winning mix of good instincts and innocence that will have readers cheering him on as he weathers a succession of amatory and ethical crises, to emerge at the end of this expertly plotted escapade with relationships, self-respect, and even conscience more or less intact. --John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Sopranos (minus the vulgarity and violence) meets Leave It to Beaver (minus the "aw-shucks" tone and dated sensibility) in Korman's (No More Dead Dogs) brassy, comical caper. With its razor-sharp dialogue and bullet-fast pace, this tale could fly on either the small or big screen, yet it makes a page-turner of a novel. Korman shapes a believable and likable crew-despite the less than reputable profession of some. Many of the novel's conflicts revolve around the fact that the affable narrator, 17-year-old Vince Luca, refuses to become involved in the family "vending machine business." But of course, since his father is the Mob boss, and his older brother serves as their father's loser lackey, Vince cannot avoid being tainted (e.g., he lands in jail "because my sixteenth-birthday present [a Porsche] turns out to be hot"). Mom turns a deaf ear to the shady goings-on, cooking up a steady storm in the kitchen and willing "to serve a sit-down dinner for fifteen guys at four in the morning with ten minutes advance notice." Things heat up when Vince begins dating-and eventually falls in love with-the daughter of the FBI agent determined to bring down Vince's father. The boy also gets sucked into the maelstrom when he loans money to one of his father's underlings for whom he feels sorry. Funny and unexpectedly affecting, this will grab-and hold onto-even the most reluctant of readers. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Vince Luca is the son of a notorious mob boss (a scion of the "vending machine business") who falls for the one girl he shouldn't: the daughter of the FBI agent assigned to bring his father down. Romeo and Juliet never had it so tough. Vince and Kendra get itchy early on; a make-out session at a drunken frat party lands them both with a case of head lice. For fans of The Freshman (starring Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando, 1990). Why It Is for Us: From The Godfather to The Sopranos, mob stories never fail to fascinate, but a laugh-out-loud funny mob story is a rarity. [The hardcover was published in 2002.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Vince Luca, 17, has always been concerned, embarrassed, and fearful about his crime-family background, though he has sworn never to become involved or to let it keep him from upstanding behavior. During his senior year, all he wants is romance, friendship, and to get through school, just like any normal guy, but things don't go as planned. His new girlfriend turns out to be the daughter of the FBI agent who is bugging his house; his older brother has figured out how to use his New Media class Web-page project for a bookmaking scheme; and he decides to save two lowlifes who owe big bucks to his father from the pains of mob revenge. The novel's quick pace and Korman's recognizable, upbeat style balance the contrived and predictable elements that infiltrate the story. Vince is a believable character; there are moments when he realizes that his name gives him power and he has to remind himself that he has chosen a different path. Susan Beth Pfeffer's Most Precious Blood (Bantam, 1991; o.p.) deals with a teenage girl whose father belongs to a crime family, but it is more serious. Readers who perceive the frightening meaning of organized-crime activity will best appreciate the tension and edgy humor that permeate this book, and will cheer when Vince finally stands up to his father.-Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.