Author: David Rice
Page Length: 135
Reading Level: 7
PLOT SUMMARY: This is a series of short stories in the setting of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. All of the stories are about the daily lives of Mexican-American teens. One story deals with two boys who live in a lower socio-economic small town who have their “uppity” cousins from California visit. Another story is about an 85 year-old mid-wife and the relationship she shares with her niece. One of the stories focuses on a young boy who is forced to move-in with his grandfather after his parent’s divorce. There is a dog who loves firecrackers and a big learning experience for an altar boy.
REVIEW: The stories appear authentic because the author includes many Spanish words and phrases and depicts the characters with realistic personalities and viewpoints. Also, the primary religion, Catholicism is used as a reference in the narratives that contain drama and some humor.
I would suggest this book for Hispanic males. It could also be used in a study of Hispanic Heritage or in a cultural diversity unit.
AREAS OF TEACHING: Point of View, Character, and Setting
RELATED BOOKS: Becoming Naomi Leon, House on Mango Street, Finding Our Way, and Crossing the Wire
REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner