Synopses & Reviews
"I mean, it's not as if I want a father. I have a father. It's just that I don't know who he is or where he is. But I have one."
Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove don't appear to have much in common. Ram lives in the Mexican-American working-class barrio of El Paso called "Dizzy Land." His brother is sinking into a world of drugs, wreaking havoc in their household. Jake is a rich West Side white boy who has developed a problem managing his anger. An only child, he is a misfit in his mother's shallow and materialistic world. But Ram and Jake do have one thing in common: They are lost boys who have never met their fathers. This sad fact has left both of them undeniably scarred and obsessed with the men who abandoned them. As Jake and Ram overcome their suspicions of each other, they begin to move away from their loner existences and realize that they are capable of reaching out beyond their wounds and the neighborhoods that they grew up in. Their friendship becomes a healing in a world of hurt.
San Antonio Express-News wrote, "Benjamin Alire Sáenz exquisitely captures the mood and voice of a community, a culture, and a generation"; that is proven again in this beautifully crafted novel.
Two boys from opposite sides of the tracks come together in Benjamin Alire Saenz's heartfelt novel about missing fathers.
The American Book Award-winning author of "Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood" delivers this tale of two boys--one a Mexican American, the other a rich WASP--whose friendship develops after both boys' fathers abandon their families.
On the surface, Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove couldnt live more different lives. Ram is Mexican-American, lives in the poor section of town, and is doing his best to keep his mother sane while his brother fights off a drug-induced coma. Jake is a WASP who drives a nice car, lives in a mansion, and has a mother who drinks a bit too much and a step-father who cheats on her. But there is one point, one issue, where their lives are exactly the same; their fathers walked out on them when they were just young boys. And at this convergence, Ram and Jake see how everything in their lives is just a little bit similar, because they both blame everything that goes wrong on the one thing they actually have in common. A heartfelt novel from an award-winning author.
About the Author
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an author of poetry and prose for adults and teens. He is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner, and a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book for teens, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Childrens Book Award, the Southwest Book Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.