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)