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LIVING BEYOND BORDERS

GROWING UP MEXICAN IN AMERICA

Well worth reading; a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

Twenty original contributions by Mexican American authors about growing up in the U.S.

In a note to readers, editor Longoria describes feeling compelled to create this anthology as she saw Mexican Americans being attacked and derided in the media. The result is this collection of short stories, personal essays, graphic stories, and poems by Mexican American authors. The standouts here pack a real emotional punch. Awareness of the impact of socio-economic status often takes center stage, and several pieces are set in the Rio Grande Valley. Protagonists vary in age from middle school through adult and are predominantly mestizx. “The Body by the Canal,” by David Bowles, is not to be missed and, along with “Coco Chamoy and Chango,” by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, brings queer representation to the project. The opening story, “Ghetto Is Not an Adjective” by Dominic Carrillo, successfully cannonballs into the deep end of the social justice pool, while “Morning People” by Diana Lopez wades into the murky waters of the taboo. “Yoli Calderon and Principal Hayes” by Angela Cervantes offers an exemplary use of the first person, and both “This Rio Grande Valley” by Daniel García Ordaz and “Sunflower” by Aida Salazar are full of beautiful imagery. “Ode to My Papi” by Guadalupe García McCall and “La Princesa Mileidy Dominguez” by Rubén Degollado both tug at the heartstrings. The variety of narrative styles contributes to the broad appeal of this volume.

Well worth reading; a welcome addition to any bookshelf. (contributor bios) (Anthology. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-20497-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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