Synopses & Reviews
The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California's Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto's world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us. Glossary of Spanish terms included.
Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Booklist Editor's Choice, Horn Book Fanfare Selection, Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book, Parenting Magazine's Reading Magic Award, John and Patricia Beatty Award
"[Soto's] sensitivity to young people's concerns and his ability to portray the world as it is perceived by children is nothing less than remarkable." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A fine collection of stories that offers a different cultural perspective about feelings common to all teenagers. Soto writes well and with tremendous insight into the process of growing up." Boston Globe
"Soto writes with humor, wit, and a voice that will appeal to tweens and teens alike. This work is a terrific addition to the growing collection of literature that features Hispanic protagonists." School Library Journal
"Soto's affection and concern for his characters is evident throughout, while his greatest gift to readers may be the attention he focuses on meaningful lives, experiences, and occasional injustices that might otherwise go unobserved." Booklist
"Will strike chords of recognition in readers of all ages." The Horn Book
In this unique collection of short stories, the small events of daily life reveal big themes love and friendship, youth and growing up, success and failure. Calling on his own experiences of growing up in California's Central Valley, poet Gary Soto brings to life the joys and pains of young people everywhere. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.
What do Gaby Lopez, Michael Robles, and Cynthia Rodriguez have in common? These three kids join other teens and tweens in Gary Soto's short story collection, in which the hard-knock facts of growing up are captured with humor and poignance.
Filled with annoying siblings, difficult parents, and first loves, these stories are a masterful reminder of why adolescence is one of the most frustrating and fascinating times of life.
About the Author
Gary Soto's first book for young readers, Baseball in April and Other Stories,
was a breakout book in literature about Latino young people. He has since published many novels, short stories, plays, and poetry collections for adults and children. Mr. Soto divides his time between Berkeley, California, and his hometown of Fresno in California's San Joaquin Valley.