It all starts when Marisa picks up the wrong cell phone. When she returns it to Rene, she feels curiously drawn to him. But Marisa and Rene aren't exactly a match made in heaven. For one thing, Marisa is a chola; she's a lot of girl, and she's not ashamed of it. Skinny Rene gangles like a sackful of elbows and wears a calculator on his belt. In other words, he's a geek. So why can't Marisa stay away from him? Includes a glossary of Spanish words and phrases.
You'd think a knife in the ribs would be the end of things, but for Chuy, that's when his life at last gets interesting. He finally sees that people love him, faces the consequences of his actions, finds in himself compassion and bravery . . . and even stumbles on what may be true love.A funny, touching, and wholly original story by one of the finest authors writing for young readers today.
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.
It's almost Cinco de Mayo, and Ricky's class is going to put on a play to celebrate the festive Mexican holiday. When asked to choose his costume, Ricky picks a big, bushy mustache, just like his dad's. He's tired of everyone telling him he looks like his mother. After all, he's a boy--he wants to look like his Papi. Although he's supposed to leave it in school, Ricky wears the mustache home, reveling all the way in how grown-up it makes him feel. But by the time he gets there, the mustache is gone, and Ricky dreads having to tell his teacher what happened. Lucky for him, his Mama and Papi have a plan. Ricky is delighted the next morning when his Mama hands him a new big, bushy mustache--fresh from the smiling face of his clean-shaven Papi! With humor and tenderness, Soto evokes a warm celebration of both the beloved tradition of Cinco de Mayo and the strong bonds of love between father and son.
For Eddie there isn't much to do in his rundown neighborhood but eat, sleep, watch out for drive-bys, and just try to get through each day. His father, two uncles, and his best friend are all dead, and it's a struggle not to end up the same way. The violence makes Fresno wallow in tears, as if a huge onion with its ubiquitous vapors were buried beneath the city. Making an effort to walk a straight line despite constant temptations and frustrations, Eddie searches for answers after the death of his cousin and discovers that his closest friends may be his worst enemies.
Young Graciela owns a very special cat, Pip, who can speak. But Pip only speaks Spanish. Throughout this charming story, the reader learns some basic Spanish.
¡Viva la causa! ¡Viva César Chávez! Up and down the San Joaquin Valley of California, and across the country, people chanted these words. Cesar Chavez, a migrant worker himself, was helping Mexican Americans work together for better wages, for better working conditions, for better lives. No one thought they could win against the rich and powerful growers. But Cesar was out to prove them wrong -- and that he did.
A "fun-packed adventure" (VOYA) by a gifted and popular storyteller. When Hector and his friend Mando, seventh-graders, visit Uncle Julio, a photographer in Fresno, they have more excitement than they ever imagined. On a photo shoot in a rickety old plane, they spot an armored car heist, and Uncle Julio snaps some shots of the robbers. After they report what they saw, the two robbers decide they have to teach Hector and Mando a lesson. When the bumbling thugs meet up with the quick-witted boys, the results are hilarious.
Powerful personal narratives by the renowned author of Living Up the Street. These small essays are not unlike Dutch paintings of the sixteenth century. They are clear and precisely rendered, and are either thematically domestic scenes or pedestrian in their observations of the ordinary. There is a delirious joy in Soto's writings, and heartbreak. This collection features his much-lauded essays "The Jacket" and "Like Mexicans," along with new essays such as "Childhood Worries, or Why I Became a Writer," "Getting It Done," and the title essay in which Soto fashions himself to be Fresno's own Knut Hamsun, the Norwegian writer of the 1920s who lived on nothing more than his five senses. Poet and critic Christopher Buckley said of his poetry, "[Soto has] mastered his form, has found his voice, and has the life experiences to provide meaningful content." He could have been speaking of his prose as well. Soto is at home with the essay; he is able to paint moments that would otherwise seem dull and not worthy of comment. He picks up hitchhikers, sorts through the mystery of finding a wife, and pulls together his wits to solve the hunger of stray dogs. He is tender and outrageous; he is reflective on worldly matters and cagey with his family and friends. In all, his dazzling effects of language will keep the reader continually surprised.These portraits are set in his hometown, Fresno, and in his current residence, the San Francisco Bay area. They therefore mark his time and place, but honor the instincts of the master Knut Hamsun, who walked around his town, a spectacle of wonder. This volume includes forty-eight pieces: all of the personal narratives formerly collected in Small Faces, the best of Lesser Evils--both volumes long out-of-print--as well as five new essays.
What do Gaby Lopez, Michael Robles, and Cynthia Rodriguez have in common? These three kids join other teens and tweens in Gary Soto's new 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.
With real wit and heart, Gary Soto takes readers into the lives of young people in ten funny, heartbreaking tales. Meet Carolina, who writes to Miss Manners for help not just with etiquette but with bigger messes in her life; Javier, who knows the stories his friend Veronica tells him are lies, but can't find a way to prove it--and many other kids, each caught up in the difficulties of figuring out what it means to be alive.
The acclaimed young adult biography of the UFW's first female organizer. This inspiring story of Jessie De La Cruz, the United Farmer Workers, and la Causa is told as only Gary Soto--novelist, essayist, poet, and himself a field laborer during his teens--can tell it, with respect, empathy, and deep compassion for the working poor. A field worker from the age of five, Jessie knew poverty, harsh working conditions, and the exploitation of Mexicans and all poor people. Her response was to take a stand. She joined the fledgling United Farm Workers union and, at Cesar Chavez's request, became its first woman recruiter. She also participated in strikes, helped ban the crippling short-handle hoe, became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, testified before the Senate, and met with the Pope. Jessie's life story personalizes an historical movement and shows teens how an ordinary woman became extraordinary through her will to make change happen, not just for herself but for others.
In a prose that is so beautiful it is poetry, we see the world of growing up and going somewhere through the dust and heat of Fresno's industrial side and beyond: It is a boy's coming of age in the barrio, parochial school, attending church, public summer school, and trying to fall out of love so he can join in a Little League baseball team. His is a clarity that rings constantly through the warmth and wry reality of these sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, always human remembrances.
A collection of thirteen short stories about the everyday lives of Mexican American young people in California's Central Valley.
Meet Marisol, a girl who was born to dance, The upsetting news that her family is moving to the Chicago suburbs is made worse when Marisol learns that her new neighborhood doesn't have a dance studio. That means no tap, no jazz, no folklorico - not even classical ballet. Instead of giving up, resourceful Marisol is determined to find a way to keep dancing. With the help of two new friends, she figures out how to combine the best of her old world with a renewed commitment to stretch and try her hardest.
On his thirteenth birthday, Ronnie woke up feeling like a chimp--all long armed, big eared, and gangly. Now his best friend, Joey, has turned thirteen, too--and after Joey humiliates himself in front of a cute girl, he climbs a tree and refuses to come down. So Ronnie sets out to woo the girl on Joey's behalf. After all, teenage chimps have to stick together.
From family pictures to pinatas, from the gato with a meow like a rusty latch to Fourth of July fireworks, the poet celebrates the startling and often overlooked moments that define childhood. Affectionate without being overly sentimental, the collection provides a good introduction to contemporary poetry as well as a fine homage to a Chicano community. --Publishers Weekly
What happens when these two decide to change their images (with the help of their bumbling friends) to win each others' heart? Will their different wavelengths ever meet? It's a totally modern, totally hip tale of teenage romance. Gary Soto's urban dialogue sets the scene in a Los Angeles neighborhood. Kids everywhere will see themselves in these funny, wonderful characters and they'll love bringing them to life. .
For over two decades, the award-winning poet and author Gary Soto has been offering his readers a vision that transcends the ordinary, making him one of today's most celebrated Chicano writers. New and Selected Poems includes the best of his seven full-length collections, plus over 23 new poems previously unpublished in book form. From the charged, short-lined poems of Soto's early writing to an unflinching look at poverty and hard labor in California's Central Valley to the off-beat humor in his longer, more recent work, New and Selected Poems is a timely tribute to a brilliant writer whose work confirms the power of the human spirit to survive and soar.
When they learn that Rudy Herrera and Alex Garcia, two fifth-grade class clowns, plan to run against them in the school elections, Miata and her friend Ana know that they face a difficult race.
Fourteen-year-old Mexican American Lincoln Mendoza spends a summer with a host family in Japan, encountering new experiences and making new friends.
A poignant, humorous collection by acclaimed poet Gary SotoThe fleeting emotions of teenagers, as changeable as the weather, ring true in these emotionally resonant poems. Told from the point of view of both boys and girls, narrators of various ethnicities fall in love for the first time, pine over crushes, and brood over broken hearts. Tender, lighthearted, and surprising, this collection will capture teens, tweens, and anyone who remembers what it's like to be a young person in love.
Rudy Herrera is surprised and excited when he gets an invitation to a pool party. It's from Tiffany Perez, the richest and most popular girl in school.Rudy's grandmother, "El Shorty," thinks he is going off to shoot pool. His sister, Estela, warns him not to make a fool of himself, or worse, embarass her. Rudy's father teaches him how to make small talk and tells him Tiffany will like him because he's a real person, not a phony.All Rudy cares about is what to wear, what kinds of dives to do, and what to bring Tiffany. When the big day arrives, Rudy is in high spirits. Will he make a big splash at the pool party?From Grandfather "El Shorty" to Little Rudy, the Herreras are a family who not only live and work together, but love and enjoy one another. Gary Soto, poet and storyteller, gives young readers a story of simple pleasures, simply told and simply wonderful.
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