To get away from his chaotic, often violent parents, 17-year-old Jesse has moved into an apartment with his brother. They are both taking community college courses in Fresno. But to pay for them, they must take whatever jobs they can find, even backbreaking field work. The path to a good education isn't going to be an easy one for these two young Mexican-Americans. As Jesse absorbs information in his classes, he learns harsher lessons from the people around him.
Eighth-grader Linc Mendoza has moved from a dusty San Francisco barrio to a well-groomed suburb and a new junior high school. Suddenly he's in the minority, a Mexican-American in a mostly white school. The basketball coach is tough on him. Classes are even tougher. And his best friend is back in the old neighborhood. To make things worse, the basketball team is scheduled to play against Linc's old school in a league game. How can Linc play his best when he's shooting against his former teammates?
Growing up Mexican-American in Fresno, California in the 1950’s and 60’s might not have been easy, but it was certainly never boring for young Gary Soto, his brother Rick and sister Debra. As this compilation of 21 short stories and articles illustrates, there is no limit to the amount of fun a child can have, or how much he can terrorize siblings and neighbors if his imagination is active.
All Eddie wants is to find a way out of the dangerous life he's living, where his friends are lost in a world of drugs and violence. Even his aunt wants to give him a gun so he can avenge the death of her son. But no matter how hard he works, Eddie can't seem to pull himself away from the sweltering sadness of the city. It's as if giant onions had been buried beneath him, Eddie thinks, releasing shimmering vapors off the black asphalt all around.
In these 11 stories, Gary Soto scores again. With a sensitivity and humor born from his own experiences while growing up in California's Central Valley, the author brings to the surface issues such as success and failure, honesty and deceit, love and friendship.
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?
Adept at portraying Latino teenage culture, author Gary Soto has won many honors, including an ALA Best Book Award for his young adult novels. After an East Fresno student is murdered, his mind leaves his body. Now he must get used to being an invisible spirit, one who watches his friends and family deal with his death.
"greates book ever"
Fifth-grader Miata Ramirez is running for class president. Her best friend, Ana, is her running mate. The girls are stunned when they learn they are running against class clown Rudy Herrera and his friend Alex. At first Miata is certain she will win the election. She has big plans to make the school a better place. She’ll clean up the graffiti, plant flowers and trees, and get computers. Rudy is confident he’ll get the votes by promising longer recess periods and selling the students ice cream every day. Who will come out on top?
Hector and his amigo Mando are looking for adventure as they hit the road on a leisurely bike trip from their East L.A. neighborhood to the beach in Santa Monica. They've just set out when the fun begins, as Hector literally stumbles into a starring role in a TV commercial. Then he turns out to be the one-millionth fan at a Dodger game--and is escorted to a private box and treated like a VIP!
This endearing story stars Maria, a young girl who is now old enough to help her mother make the traditional Christmas tamales. While kneading the masa, she spots her mom's precious ring lying on the table. Just to see what it feels like, she slips it on and continues her work. The real trouble begins later when she notices the ring is missing. Could it have been cooked into one of the tamales?
Lincoln is happy to be going to Japan as a martial arts exchange student. So is Tony, his barrio brother from San Francisco. They're excited about living in a dojo, or school for martial arts, and practicing the art of kempo. When Lincoln arrives in Japan, he is surprised to find that the dojo is a vacant lot. He will be living on a small farm with the Ono family, whose mother reminds him of his own. The father likes to play practical jokes, and the son, Mitsuo, likes baseball.
Everyone is coming for Christmas dinner at Maria's house. She and her mother prepare by kneading the "masa" to make tamales. When her mother takes off her ring, maria tries it on - and is beside herself when, hours later, she thinks it has been kneaded into the tamales.
Gary Soto writes that when he was five "what I knew best was at ground level." In this lively collection of short essays, Soto takes his listener to a ground-level perspective, recreating in vivid detail the sights, sounds, smells, and textures he knew growing up in his Fresno, California, neighborhood. The "things" of his boyhood tie it all together: his Buddha "splotched with gold", the taps of his shoes, and the "engines of sparks that lived beneath my soles", his worn tennies smelling of "summer grass, asphalt, the moist sock breathing the defeat of baseball". The child’s world is made up of small things - small, very important things.
In books like Buried Onions and Boys at Work, Gary Soto displays a gift for revealing the tough, heart-breaking life of contemporary urban kids. In Petty Crimes, Soto offers 10 stories about the risky situations and dangerous little scams faced by young people growing up on the harsh streets of the city.
When Hector's mother suggests that he and his amigo Mando get out of East L.A. for the weekend and see some of the world, he's thinking Paris. So he's a little disappointed when they end up in Fresno, sleeping on a lumpy couch in his Uncle Julio's messy apartment. Hector figures it's going to be one boring weekend. He couldn't be more wrong.
Chato invites a family of mice to his house to share a tasty meal but to his surprise ends up eating tortillas and not them for dinner!
Chato decides to throw a birthday party - a 'pachanga' - for his best friend, Novio boy and everyone is invited, including you!
When Chato, the hippest cat in East L.A., invites a family of mice to dinner, he and his friend, Novio Boy, expect a wonderful meal of chiles rellenos, enchiladas, and chorizo con mice. But when the mice arrive, they bring a surprise that changes the course of the whole meal.
What happens when the dad you don’t know suddenly invades your life? Gabe Mendoza is off to the library when his long-absent father appears - and looks to be homeless. His father wants to reestablish a relationship, but 13-year-old Gabe is hesitant. He’s confused. And his Mom is mad. Should Gabe allow his father back into his life, or keep his distance? Can Gabe’s dad, with all his failings, clean up his act? This powerful novella by best-selling author Gary Soto will ring true to kids who can relate to the everyday challenges of one-parent home life.
An original novella from award-winning children's author and poet Gary Soto. Jason Rodriguez is a 12-year-old who never had muchluck - until he wins $3,700 in the lottery and becomes an Instant Winner! Jason can't believe he's won the lottery and decides he will use the money to get his crazy Uncle Mike out of jail. That's where the real adventure begins.