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CALL ME HENRI by Lorraine M. López

CALL ME HENRI

By Lorraine M. López

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-931896-27-5
Publisher: Curbstone Press

With all that Enrique encounters in his barrio—gang beatings, frequent deaths, an abusive, alcoholic stepfather and fellow teens dropping out of school—one would imagine him older than the middle-school student that he is. As his school tries to assimilate him with ESL classes, he yearns to learn French rather than struggle with a language that has no meaning to him. While the boy’s life often seems like one gut-wrenching blow after another, Enrique finds solace in his triplet infant brothers (who leave him with no time for gangs), his first kiss (which does show his typical middle-school behavior) and Monsieur Nassour, the French teacher (who sees his potential). When the teen witnesses a drive-by shooting that paralyzes his best friend and puts his own life in danger, however, he must make the biggest decision of his life. With Nassour’s help, Enrique will not only survive but realize his dream. Although López writes fiction, she delivers a hard-hitting, accurate description of life for some teens in this country. A must for urban collections. (Fiction. YA)