Pura Belpré honoree Delacre’s chronicles—each different from the next—offer moving snapshots of family heartbreak,...

US, IN PROGRESS

SHORT STORIES ABOUT YOUNG LATINOS

Based on actual accounts, this dynamic short story collection focuses on and delves into the nuances of the lives of young Latinos and Latinas in the United States.

In the opening story, “The Attack,” readers are exposed to a medical emergency gone wrong when police racially profile a young Mexican-American man undergoing an epileptic seizure with a knife in hand. The story lands like a gut punch, and the following 11 also leave impressions and invite considerable scrutiny. Another touching narrative, titled “Burrito Man,” depicts the sudden death of a Salvadoran father saving for his daughter’s college tuition as an unassuming food vendor in D.C. Inspired by true stories and woven with cultural details and Spanish dialects appropriate to different Latin American countries, the collection is penetrating: Latin American families are divided by deportation; illness and poverty are constant struggles; characters feel guilt, shame, and an inescapable sense of being unwelcome in the U.S. Tech-industry gentrifiers and neighborhood kids clash over a San Francisco soccer field; a privileged, fifth-generation middle-class Tejano harbors palpable prejudices and misconceptions about unaccompanied children crossing the border. Common Spanish sayings—refranes—and attractive freehand pencil sketches of the protagonists usher in each story, both serving as integral elements in this solidly packaged collection.

Pura Belpré honoree Delacre’s chronicles—each different from the next—offer moving snapshots of family heartbreak, disadvantage, dysfunctionality, heartbreak, privilege, and joy. (glossary, translations, notes) (Short stories. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-239214-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more