HOW JUAN GOT HOME by Peggy Mann

HOW JUAN GOT HOME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A puerto Rican boy living in New York with his uncle, a ""maintenance engineer"" in an expensive East Side apartment building, is lonely and uneasy until he takes a bus to Columbus Avenue to buy some Spanish food and meets the stick ball team last heard from in When Carlos Closed the Street (1969). When Juan hits a three-sewer run he's accepted by the boys and invited to play in their big game the next day, and though one of the gang speaks good Spanish and translates all the directions, Juan becomes so involved in the game that before it's over he's shouting and cheering in English. There are some moderately affecting moments, as when Uncle Esteban is late meeting Juan's plane, when Juan buys a pineapple at an East Side market and finds it to be flavorless and dry, and when his lack of English foils his attempts to make friends on Uncle Esteban's block. But what the story offers in sympathy and recognition for boys with similar problems is lost, for those without a three-sewer talent, in the too fantastico ending.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan