Monday, October 12, 2009

What Do I Read Next?: Shout Out to Muchacho

To close out our month long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're focusing on the guys. Here are four title from two prolific reviewers, Doret from Happy Nappy Bookseller and Ari from Reading in Color. Comment and recommend.

Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X. Stork. There’s so much you can say about this amazing, wonderful, beautiful, tremendous, stupendous novel, but at the same time I don’t feel that I can adequately express how much impact this novel had on me. It blew me away. It’s so powerful. It’s ultimately about the loss of innocence and how we can fight injustice. It also made me think about why God allows suffering? Read full review here.

Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.
One of the things that drew me to this story (besides the fact that I wanted to learn more about Pinochet and Chile) was what life is like after torture. Many fictional books about activists, skip the details of the torture or their characters miraculously escape that fate. Gringolandia offers a very detailed, no-holds barred look not just at what happens to a person after they've been tortured but the effect on family members. Daniel's father (Marcelo) has been imprisoned for six years (arrested in 1980 and released in 1986). See full review here.


Mexican White Boy by Matt De la Pena
Baseball is a small part of this book. Its more so about Danny coming to terms with who he is and who is dad was. In Danny's actions and few chosen words, I could see how much he missed having his dad around. Throughout the book Danny writes his dad letters about what's going on in this life in hopes that maybe one will make him come back. Everything Danny writes is a colorful untruth, instead of running a summer hustle with Uno, Danny's an ace for a traveling team. It isn't until the end that Danny learns the truth and there is no way his dad can come back. See review here.

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez.
When 11yr old Tyler Paquette returns home to the family farm, he discovers his parents have hired Mexican workers. Before Tyler went to visit family in Boston, is father had a farming accident. Tyler's parents crunched the numbers, the only way they could afford to keep the farm was to hire undocumented Mexican workers. They hired three brothers. See review here.

Whatcha think? What would you like to see next?


MissA said...

I didn't actually like Return to Sender all that much. Mainly because Tyler was a bit too clueless for my taste (I can be a bit harsh). I really want to read Mexican WhiteBoy!
I just finished Muchacho by Louanne Johnson and I really liked it(working on review right now)!
I would definitely recommend Gringolandia and Marcelo in the Real World to everyone :)
maybe next could be fantasy or scary stories for poc. in honor of Halloween!

Color Online said...

Thanks for your honest opinion, Ari. I'll check with Doret about your request.

J.T. Oldfield said...

Let's Hear It for the Boys popped into my head. This is going to be hard to get out. ;)

Great list!

Doret said...

Oh, JT why did you have to say that,now Kevin Bacon is in my head

Another great book is Brother Torres by Coert Voorhees

Even when Tyler was stubborn, he understood what was going on and what was at stake.

I am hoping someone who enjoyed Return to Sender, and has yet to cast a YA vote for cybils will vote for it. (Hint Hint) I already voted for Skunk Girl.

Scary stories for halloween featuring POC, I like that idea

M said...

This is great, I'm especially interested in reading the first two.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thanks for the recommendation of Gringolandia, Ari! And in fresh off the presses/forthcoming books, Benjamin Alire Saenz of Sammy and Juliana in Hollywwod fame has Last Night I Sang to the Monster about an 18 year old boy of mixed heritage (Latino/Anglo) coping with alcoholism and family violence. And Matt de la Pena has one coming out next month, We Were Here.