WHO’S BURIED IN THE GARDEN? by Ray Villareal

WHO’S BURIED IN THE GARDEN?

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Seventh grader Joshua Ramirez knows he shouldn’t believe Artie Mendoza’s story: Mrs. Foley surely didn’t murder her husband and bury him in her flower garden. Still, there is that mound of dirt that looks like a grave. And what heroes they and their buddy Wolf Man would be to uncover such a scandal. What risks could there be in digging up the garden to find out? It’s a thin premise for a novel, but it turns out that the mystery of who’s buried in the garden is just a device to pull readers into a story that’s really about friendship and making the right choices in life. Joshua learns who his real friends are and ultimately tells Artie, “¡Lárgate de aquí, burro!” (“Get lost, jackass”). Though the story turns didactic to drive home the message, it’s a solid glimpse at seventh-grade life from a writer who understands the age—biography reports, friendships made and lost, crushes, misbehavior and, sometimes, quiet heroism. This story of three Latino boys with Stephen King–ish imaginations ought to find a wide audience. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55885-546-5
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2009




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