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$9.71 $5.87 list($12.95)
1. When I Was Puerto Rican
$16.47 $16.21 list($24.95)
2. Burro Genius : A Memoir
$11.56 $6.00 list($17.00)
3. Harvesting Hope: The Story of
$11.53 $10.95 list($16.95)
4. The Pot That Juan Built (Pura
$20.00 $12.95
5. Farmworker's Daughter: Growing
$6.26 $4.52 list($6.95)
6. Breaking Through
$9.60 $7.57 list($12.00)
7. Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo
$9.71 $8.18 list($12.95)
8. Down These Mean Streets (Thirtieth-Anniversary
9. Father Greg and the Homeboys :
$3.95 list($19.95)
10. Freak: A Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo
$24.95 $3.24
11. Brown: The Last Discovery of America
$9.75 $7.96 list($13.00)
12. The Revolt of the Cockroach People
$8.50 list($25.00)
13. The Fight in the Fields: Cesar
$10.85 $10.80 list($15.95)
14. The Upside Down Boy / El niño
$10.46 $6.98 list($13.95)
15. The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping
$15.61 $13.61 list($22.95)
16. Telling to Live: Latina Feminist
17. The Hispanic American Almanac:
$11.50 $8.99
18. Barrio Boy
$11.53 $11.27 list($16.95)
19. Cortijo's Wake/El Entierro De
20. Bootstraps: From an American Academic

1. When I Was Puerto Rican
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679756760
Catlog: Book (1994-10-11)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 11827
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Selling over 16,000 copies in hardcover, this triumphant coming-of-age memoir is now available in paperback editions in both English and Spanish. In the tradition of Black Ice, Santiago writes lyrically of her childhood on her native island and of her bewildering years of transition in New York City. ... Read more

Reviews (76)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift From Santiago
A joyful and proud eulogy to the island of her youth. Santiago is a wonderfully talented voice that exudes passion. The title alone, When I WAS Puerto Rican, is at first intriguing. But we soon learn the profound sense of this past tense usage. I read Santiago's memories in Spanish, which, in my view presents her story in a distinctive poetic prose, rhythm and rhapsody (often characteristic in Spanish) that is absolutely captivating. However, what is most appealing about this autobiogaphy, interwoven delightfully with memorable and richly detailed anecdotes, is the moving revelation that Santiago shares with her readers who don't know what it means to be caught in the agonizing web of dual-identities/dual-allegiances that is largely the Puerto Rican Experience ... as well as other North American immigrant experiences. This writer has presented us with a lyrical gift of enormous joy. High on the list of Must-Read novels, especially those by the new cadre of Latina writers. If you haven't as yet seen the excellent movie version of the sequel to this novel, Almost A Woman, do so. Wanda de Jesus is brilliant in the lead role.

Alan Cambeira
Author of AZUCAR! The Story of Sugar (a novel)

5-0 out of 5 stars When I Was Puerto Rican
When I Was Puerto Rican is a chronicle of the events that take place in the life of author Esmeralda Santiago during her childhood in Puerto Rico and later New York city.

Two things make this book worthwhile right off the bat. One it crosses the divdes of age, sex and race. I found it to be an effective introduction to Puerto Rican culture. However, this isn't a story for simply one group of people it was written for everyone.

I believe that Mrs. Santiago while writing this biography tried her best to keep the events of her early life in the child-like perspective,in which she first experienced them. What I mean by this is she does not pollute her narrative with the reflections of an older wiser adult woman looking backward. She allows the story to unfold as it was at the time.

Culturally this book is far different from any other book I've read. But the story and the empathy I felt for the characters in it has stayed with me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Touching and Heart Felt
I just finished "When I was Puerto Rican." I thoroughly enjoyed the book and connected with the author. Being the oldest female child in my family, I have felt the way that she did. The book takes you back through your adolescence and makes you exam life.

Another plus to the book is how much culture it has. I enjoyed learning about the culture, the food, the dichos (sayings). I am pretty familiar with the Mexican Culture but the Puerto Rican has a completely different vibe and I enjoy it. Esmeralda's experience in New York is what so many people dream of. She makes me proud of her and I feel that I know her so intimately. That is what I love about her writing. Thank you for being so honest with your readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars When I was Puerto Rican
The book of "When I was Puerto Rican by; Esmeralda Santiagon was really great. It's shows the way she lived in Puerto Rico her life was easy she lived with her mother and her uncle that would always help them out, she also lived with six cousins. She got older she wanted to get married with this guy that she liked but her uncle wanted to get married with this older guy. She didn't want to but if she didn't her uncle would have to go to this counselor camp. That's when she decided to run away she wanted to go to America.
She wanted to come America and have a better life but sometimes cominh to america is so easy. She also wanted to come and find her dad that was a soldier. Esmeralda books are really amazing because she puts you in her shoes and she takes you with her in her journeys. She shows how hard it was for her to live in the situation she did. Not knowing anything about her culture. This book is a really good book if you want to know whether she goes to America and finds her dad and gets a better life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is, without question, the best autobiography I've ever read. Santiago's writing is vibrant, fluid, and concise. Her evocation of life in PR as Americanization slowly seeps in is deadeye brilliant, and her transition to life in the margins in Brooklyn is heart-rending. She never uses a hammer to make her points, choosing the subtle, the offhand, the seemingly innocuous instead.

Edwidge Danticat should take notes. Ernesto Quinones should be embarrased. ... Read more

2. Burro Genius : A Memoir
by Victor Villasenor
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060526122
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Rayo
Sales Rank: 9129
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From one of America's most beloved authors comes a raw and unnerving memoir that explores the transformation of an angry young man into the bestselling author we know today.

When Victor Villaseñor stood at the podium and looked at the group of teachers amassed before him, he became enraged. He had never spoken in public before. His mind was flooded with childhood memories filled with humiliation, misunderstanding, and abuse at the hands of his teachers. With his heart pounding, he began to speak of these incidents. To his disbelief, the teachers before him responded to his embittered recollection with a standing ovation. Many could not contain their own tears.

So begins a touching memoir of an extremely angry adolescent. Highly gifted and imaginative, Villaseñor coped with an untreated learning disability (he was finally diagnosed with extreme dyslexia at the age of forty-four) and the frustration he felt growing up Latino in an English-only American school system that had neither the cultural understanding nor the resources to deal with Hispanic students.

Often beaten by his teachers because he could not speak English, Villaseñor was made to feel ashamed about his heritage, and even questioned the core values prioritized by his tight-knit family. Villaseñor's dyslexia, and growing frustration over not fitting in, fueled his dream to one day become a writer. He is now considered one of the premier writers of our time.

With his signature passion, his gift as a storyteller, and his own incredible story, Villaseñor allows readers into the soul of a young life touched by insecurity yet encouraged by a personal sense of artistic destiny. Burro Genius, a complex and inspiring coming-of-age story, is certain to become an American classic.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is about ALL OF US!
I was born in America, like Victor. I am not Hispanic. I relate to this book because my ancestors were from Italy. They came to America with very little, and with no knowledge of English. They built businesses, some of which flourish to this very day! They worked hard - often much harder than the people for whom they worked. They educated their children, often with very little help from the American school system. They survived drought, hunger, abuse, unfeeling teachers, uncaring political leaders. This is about Victor. And it is about all the people who built America. It is about you, me, our friends and relatives, our neighbors. Please read this. And please read WALKING STARS with your children. You are, after all -- each and every one of you -- a Burro Genius Miracle Maker!

5-0 out of 5 stars Villasenor does it once again.........
Burro Genius has been added to my list of favorite books, along with some of his previous work....

Learning about the way his teachers abused him and the way his classmates disrespected and hated him because he was Mexican made me feel made me wish many times through out the book that it would've been me who they'd disrespected and slapped around just so that I could do something about it.

It's an experience that makes him feel out-of-place and turns him into an angry child who, at one point, becomes ashamed of who he is and where his family comes from.

It's crazy how Villasenor, along with other Mexican kids, was forced to speak "English Only" and now that's all changed. America encourages and almosts expects of people to learn more than one language. Like a slap in the face....

5-0 out of 5 stars Something very special
Victor Villasenor has written well before, but this is something completely new and special. It's his story, compelling, heartbreaking, and funny. You want to keep reading just to find out what happens to this kid, who is at once precocious, confused, and angry.

Victor's voice rings through the pages. Even if you have never heard him in person, you will know his voice by the words he writes. And you'll know him, in a more personal way than you probably know your neighbors.

The book is definitely psychologically and politically challenging. You can't help but wonder why his world is the way it is, and what you can do, years later, to change it. ... Read more

3. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152014373
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 14518
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cesar Chavez is known as one of America's greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn't always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.

Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that--maybe--he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

An author's note provides historical context for the story of Cesar Chavez's life.

... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A children¿s book about collective bargaining? ¡Si se puede!
In light of the "zero tolerance" policies maintained by most schools, conventional wisdom says parents should discourage their children from fighting or causing trouble.
Kathleen Krull's latest biography flies in the face of such convention, daring children to resist the status quo, to take a stand and to, yes, fight.
This past Saturday San Antonio honored the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez with a march to the Alamo - the mission, not the premiere. But how much do we really know about the noble migrant laborer who passed away peacefully in his sleep 11 years ago? How much do our children know about this Chicano organizer - only the second Mexican American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
With broad brushstrokes and soft, warm tones, Krull and illustrator Yuyi Morales paint a picture of a quiet, peaceful man who was compelled by injustice, greed and racism to overcome his own fears and insecurities.
The story begins on a summer night upon the lush, utopian, magical fields of his grandfather; family that relaxes after a long, but satisfying day working the land surrounds Cesar.
Watching young Cesar run away from school on the first day of class back to the loving embrace of his gentle mother, the reader relates, beginning to see the human being behind the legend.
To drought and depression paradise is soon lost and the Chavez family must strike out towards California to seek out new opportunities, a new Promised Land.
But Cesar finds instead an oppressive blanket of harsh reality, patched together by insecticides, calluses, short-handled hoes and pennies a day for backbreaking work. After many brutal hours under the unrelenting sun his family returns to a shack with no doors in an overcrowded shantytown. And school provided no refuge, either, as teachers torment Cesar for his poor English.
Through these difficult pages he appears downtrodden, quiet, sad, fearful. As injustice is heaped upon his shoulders Cesar quietly bears his load.
But he remembers his early childhood, knows "Farmwork did not have to be this miserable" and gradually Cesar realizes things will never change by themselves - he must force change.
The book then details the nonviolent means Cesar used to battle oppression and stand up for the rights of migrant workers, returning a sense of pride and hope to a people long deprived of these basic human needs. Krull recounts in simple language the first meeting of the National Farm Workers Association, the grape picker strike of 1965 and the subsequent March to Sacramento from the San Joaquin Valley.
Morales' sweeping images use few straight lines, so the rigid black eagle of the NFW and the large banner reading "HUELGA" stand in stark contrast, anchors providing the weight due such monumental matters in a book washed over in light acrylic and pastels.
But the pictures match the man - mild and unassuming, with the strong, black eagle representing the warrior spirit of the Aztec imbedded inside.

Cesar Chavez demonstrated the power of unity and organization. And "Harvesting Hope" begins to show that a person with tenacity and compassion spurs change from the way things are to the way things should be.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that may go largely untaught in a school system dedicated to keeping our children in line and outbursts to a minimum, making Krull's work that much more necessary and relevant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top notch, two thumbs up, and other cries of adulation.
In her author's note, Kathleen Krull points out that Cesar Chavez continues to remain a controversial figure in the United States today. The fact of the matter is, he followed perfectly in the footsteps of the men he admired; St. Francis of Assisi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Gandhi. Helping to lead migrant workers in the first successful agricultural strike the U.S. had ever known, he is best remembered worldwide as a hero. In her book, Krull follows Chavez from a happy early childhood in Arizona to an unpleasant shift to the fields of California. As we watch, Cesar grows from a boy forced to endure the humiliations of the fields (and the poor schooling as well) to a man capable to leading workers in a non-violent protest against the grape growers of Southern California. Especially impressive are the ways in which Krull ties in young Cesar's lessons about life (his mother cautioning him to use one's head to work through conflicts) with their actual implementation years later. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, the book looks like nothing so much as Jonah Winter's fabulous biography of Frida Kahlo. Beautiful surreal images meld with sweeping panoramas of a life of difficulty. You'll find yourself reading it over and over again just to look at the pretty pictures.

The fact of the matter is, there's not a single misstep in this book. Anyone familiar with the previous Pura Belpre winner, "Esperanza Rising" will see that this book succeeds where "Esperanza" was apt to fail. But, quite frankly, it's unfair to compare the two. Fiction will always pale in comparison to well-written non-fiction. In this book you have an honest story told simply with an elegance all its own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: HARVESTING HOPE
"César reprimió la amargura que le causaba haber perdido su hogar y empezó a trabajar junto a su familia. Era pequeño y no muy fuerte, pero un trabajador incansable. Casi cualquier cultivo era un tormento. Arrancar betabeles le desgarraba la piel entre el dedo pulgar y el índice. Los viñedos rociados con pesticidas le irritaban los ojos y le hacían difícil la respiracíon. La lechuga era lo peor de todo. Plantar lechuga con un azadón de mango corto le causaba espasmos de dolor por toda la espalda. Trabajar la tierra de otros en vez de la propia, le paracía ser una forma de eslavitud.
"La familia Chávez hablaba constantemente de ahorrar lo suficiente para poder volver a comprar su rancho. Pero al atardecer, la familia entera había ganado no más de treinta centavos por todo un día de trabajo. Conforme pasaban los años, hablaban cada vez menos del rancho."

That's right, a total of thirty cents pay for a long, backbreaking day of labor put in by the whole family!

Oh. You didn't understand that the first time because it was in Spanish? Hey! What's wrong with you?

"The towns weren't much better than the fields. WHITE TRADE ONLY signs were displayed in many stores and restaurants. None of the thirty-five schools Cesar attended over the years seemed like a safe place, either. Once, after Cesar broke the rule about speaking English at all times, a teacher hung a sign on him that read, I AM A CLOWN. I SPEAK SPANISH. He came to hate school because of the conflicts, though he liked to learn. Even he considered his eighth-grade graduation a miracle. After eighth grade he dropped out to work in the fields full-time."

When Cesar was young, his mother cautioned him and his siblings "against fighting, urging them to use their minds and mouths to work out conflicts."

And so, instead of punching out those people responsible for making his family's life so tough, Señora Chavez's son grew up to be a disciple of Gandhi and of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Cesar organized migrant workers one by one, persuaded them to go on strike against grape growers, and led them on a march of over 300 miles to Sacramento, thus obtaining the first contract for farmworkers in American history.

As Kathleen Krull reiterates in her author's note, "Before [Chavez] formed the National Farm Workers Association, [farm] workers had...the longest hours, lowest wages, harshest conditions, shortest life spans, and least power of any group of workers in America."

Krull also explains how Chavez would go on hunger strikes as a publicity tool for achieving economic justice for the migrant workers. (This strategy had worked well for both Gandhi and, earlier, for the Suffragists. Sadly, while also effective for Chavez, it eventually killed him.)

HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ (the title of the English language version) is an essential biography for elementary and middle school libraries about one of America's greatest civil rights leaders. It is written in the 32 page picture book format and illustrated with brilliant, Caldecott-quality acrylic paintings by Yuyi Morales who trekked through the fields and vineyards for inspiration.

Before sharing this book--the English edition--with her eighth-grade English students last month, my wife Shari asked her students about Cesar Chavez. Despite being raised in California where Cesar did all of his groundbreaking work, not one in a hundred of these students knew anything significant about Chavez. A couple had heard of him--thanks to there being streets and plazas named in his honor.

The book has unfortunately been mislabeled as being for ages 6-9. In reading it to a class of 8-10 year olds, I found those students did not have the same firm grasp of the vocabulary and concepts (union organizing, contracts, walking 300 miles, owning 80 acres, etc.) that makes it a more ideal fit for middle schoolers. (Yes, this review will serve as my nomination of the book for the California Young Reader Medal in the Picture Books for Older Readers category.)

As with great books about other important and inspirational leaders who have devoted their lives to change for the better, HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ provides fertile ground for planting a seed of activism in the hearts of young readers. Hopefully, the book will also provide inspiration for celebrating Cesar Chavez Day (March 31st) in significant fashion, as we do with Martin Luther King Day.

(And if you would like to read, or read aloud, an unforgettable speech about Martin--Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-- that was given by Cesar Chavez on Martin Luther King Day, 1990, you can find it on the San Francisco State University site at .)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Illustrations and Thoughtful Treatment
This is a well-written book enhanced immeasurably by Yuyi Morales' vivid, mural-like illustrations (done with acrylics, handmade stamps, and computer-created cutouts). Morales' tableaux display swirling designs, bold colors, and expressive faces to portray the joys and struggles described in Kathleen Krull's narrative. It's not a preachy book, but relies instead on short revealing statements of fact: "Once, after Cesar broke the rule about speaking English at all times, a teacher hung a sign on him that read, I AM A CLOWN. I SPEAK SPANISH."

The book describes the inhumane treatment of the farm workers, focusing on Chavez' own experience: "Anyone who complained was fired, beaten up, or sometimes even murdered." Some may complain that this represents a monolithic view of ALL landowners in California. Still, this is a children's book, not a history of agricultural employment in California. The author correctly points out the terrible conditions that Chavez battled through non-violence, notably the 1965 grape strike which ended with Chavez signing the first farmworker contract in American history. The book ends with a 2-page "author's note" that summarizes what Chavez accomplished. I look forward to more of Morales' work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly moving and beautiful
This book tells the story of Cesar Chavez and his fight to improve the lives of itinerant farm workers. The story is wonderful- inspiring and educational and always interesting.

And the illustrations must be seen to be believed. The artist uses a gorgeous palette of colors and mixes the fantastic with the realistic in her moving depiction of the life of a true American hero. Buy this book immediately! ... Read more

4. The Pot That Juan Built (Pura Belpre Honor Book Illustrator (Awards))
by Nancy Andrews-Goebel, David Diaz
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584300388
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Sales Rank: 175781
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Quezada creates stunning pots in the traditional style of the Casas Grandes people, including using human hair to make brushes and cow dung to feed the fire. This real-life story is written in the form of "The House That Jack Built," and relays how Juan’s pioneering work has changed a poor village into a prosperous community of world-class artists. Illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars My kid is obsessed with this book
The absorbing subject matter of this book, presented through catchy rhymes and alliteration and strong, colorful illustrations, has completely captured the imagination of my four-year-old. For three days now, he's been "Juan" almost exclusively, following ants to a vein of "the very best clay, all squishy and white," pretending to make vessels for every conceivable purpose, and peppering me with questions about Mexico, pottery-making, and Juan himself. I've had to draw the line at cutting my hair for paintbrushes and gathering the "dried cow manure" left by the neighborhood dogs. "The Pot That Juan Built" appeals to pre-schoolers' burgeoning interest in rhyme and other aspects of language; making things out of simple materials; and the world around them generally. I give it my highest recommendation!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Beautiful Book!
I'm appalled at the lack of love for this book! I am a teacher of a 3rd grade classroom in California where my children are learing about how humans use the world around them to create their life and build their culture. This book is a perfect tie-in to this concept. The illustrations are beautiful and I found the rhymes to be intelligent and descriptive. Two thumbs up from me, and 48 thumbs up from my class!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic
This is a beautiful book, in illustration and in content. It is the true story of Juan Quezada, a potter, and a celebratory tale of the village of Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Quezada's discovery of ancient pottery methods transformed Mata Ortiz from an impoverished village into a prosperous community of world-renowned artists. The story is cleverly told in the form of "The House That Jack Built". It is sing-song-y in it's rhythm and children will be enraptured by the story Ms. Andrews-Goebel has written and the beautifully vibrant illustrations of Caldecott Award winning illustrator, David Diaz. A more complete story of the famous pottery is told on the facing pages, providing intricate details of a fascinating process. A photo-illustrated afterward follows Quezada through the process of creating a pot, from the digging of the clay to the completed product. This book is a great addition to any child's multicultural library and informs us of one of the great contemporary and nationally recognized Mexican artists. DELIGHTFUL!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars not a good seller
The pictures are very nice. But as other reviewers have said, the structure and layout is fatally flawed and the writing style more appealing to adults who grew up knowing "The House that Jack Built". I'm finding it's not a popular seller. As a bookstore owner, I'm also finding that the publishing industry is more and more out of touch with consumer demand. That even goes for many of these smaller companies. Lee & Low, I admire your multicultural aim, but shake up your editorial dept. please! Many of your books are too similar, the writing trite and stilted. Do more humor, go deeper, be more original in style and content!

2-0 out of 5 stars not impressed, kids were bored
The art is not as stunning as in some other recent titles, but certain design elements are unique and make for an interesting composition. I encountered resistance when reading this story to my kindergarten class. They lost interest when I reached the historical information on the right side of the book. It was an interesting idea to incorporate the true facts of Juan's life, but I think the structure and layout of the story suffers from this dense presentation of facts. As for the poetry, I would have been more impressed by an original voice and rhythm uniquely suited to its Mexican subject and setting, and not borrowed from a Classic nursery rhyme. ... Read more

5. Farmworker's Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1597140066
Catlog: Book (2005-04)
Publisher: Heyday Books
Sales Rank: 105326
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Book Description

In this affectionate memoir, Guilbault invites us into her girlhood, revealing what it was like to grow up as a Mexican immigrant in a farming community during the turbulent 1960s. She recalls her early struggles to learn English, to fit in with schoolmates with their Barbie dolls and cupcakes, to win approval, and to bridge the tensions between home life and the public world to which she was drawn.

As her mother dreams of owning a house with her new farmworker husband, Rose perfects her English and writes for the school newspaper, nurturing dreams of her own that will eventually take her far from her life as a farmworker’s daughter. ... Read more

6. Breaking Through
by Francisco Jiménez
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618342486
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 48751
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home, the entire family travels all night for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice. How they sustain their hope, their goodheartedness, and tenacity is revealed in this moving sequel to The Circuit. Without bitterness or sentimentality, Francisco Jiménez finishes telling the story of his youth. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Spanish Book Review of Breaking Through
I thought this book was very interesting. It told about the life of a boy who had moved to California from Mexico, where he was born. He had to work everyday after school to help support his poor family. He was very smart and maintained good grades and even got into college, which no one in his family had ever done before. He has to struggle with his father to make decisions financially and about his future. His father does not speak English and gets stressed out a lot. His mother is very understanding and tries to make everything work out for the family.

I enjoyed reading this book because it took place not too long ago and the boy was around my age. I could not believe that he had to work to help support his family. I thought it was interesting because whatever money I get, my parents let me keep for myself, but everything he had was given to his parents.

I would suggest reading this book because it shows the struggles of people on the other side of my country only a few decades ago. I would have never known what it was like there if I had not read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning Conclusion
The cliffhanger at the end of the Circuit is resolved in this amazing book. Francisco Jimenez's story of growing up poor and Mexican in the 1950s tells a powerful story. I highly recommend this book for all readers, young and old.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel
"Breaking Through" is an excellent follow-up for those of us hungering for more after "The Circuit." It follows Francisco Jimenez's life through high school. Francisco Jimenez goes deeper into depth about all that he faced, including his relationships with his parents. He accurately portrays the challenges so many parents and teens, especially Latinos, face in dealing with issues of love, understanding, and personal struggles that affect their relationships.I think teenagers will especially enjoy and connect with this book. It will inspire and motivate many. Teachers, use it in your classrooms - especially middle and high school! ... Read more

7. Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679722130
Catlog: Book (1989-07-17)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 56950
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Immensely readable...A Chicano Manchild in the Promised Land."

-- Publishers Weekly

Before his mysterious disappearance and probable death in 1971, Oscar Zeta Acosta was famous as a Robin Hood Chicano layer and notorious as the real-life model for Hunter S. Thompson's "Dr. Gonzo," a fat, pugnacious attorney with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs, and life on the edge.

Written with uninhibited candor and manic energy, this book is Acosta's own account of coming of age as a Chicano in the psychedelic sixties, of taking on impossible cases while breaking all tile rules of courtroom conduct, and of scrambling headlong in search of a personal and cultural identity. It is a landmark of contemporary Hispanic-American literature, at once ribald, surreal, and unmistakably authentic.

"Acosta has entered counterculture folklore. This is the life story of a man whose pain is made real, whose roots are in question, and whose society seems to be fragmenting around him."

-- Saturday Review of Literature ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars wallowing in the trough of excess
Once one gets past the multiple occurences of multi-hued vomit and the daily self-love in the shower... As autobiography, one would do well to read this with some skepticism; Acosta makes himself into an icon of the 60s and 70s, and less a faithful recorder of that time. However, the book can also function as a wonderful novel read in the tradition of pulp novels of the 70s such as Valley of the Dolls. The last chapter shifts from the searching bravado and life on the edge quality into a moving testimony of who Acosta is, and what he is. The book has become one of the important books in the growing recognition of Chicano literature, and Oscar's papers are in a collection open to the public at the University of California. There's a 60 minute videotape of him, 10 of which are Acosta reading from this book. I wonder if his virtual voice is as wild and rich as the voice of the author in print?

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Brown Buffalo is basically a road story about a Mexican-American looking for his identity in a time before the Civil Rights movement. The narrative focuses on Oscar Acosta and his semi-autobiographical account of his life story. The hero of this novel is what makes it so good. Acosta's detailed storytelling keeps the reader interested throughout.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good story at heart
It is easy to dismiss this book. The hallucinations and drug-induced rants become a little exaggerated and tedious. Although, his friend and partner in crime, Hunter S. Thompson, would detail similar bizarre experiences in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, their intent seemed different. Whereas HST played with fantasy in social satire as a form of comic relief, OZA seems to want you to believe it to be fact...or at least for you to trust that he believed it.
With that said, the story is one of the most self-deprecating, odd, and entertaining autobiographies I have ever read. It can easily stand alone as study of a Mexican-American struggle for the American Dream, as well as companion book to Hunter S. Thompson enthusiasts. Regardless of your intent on picking this book up, OZA will amuse, disgust, and surprise you...making this a worthwhile read.

On a sidenote: This book truly makes you wonder, when HST and OZA joined up, who influenced who more.

3-0 out of 5 stars Overhyped, Formless And Dull
Strong writing in places, but Acosta's style is sometimes hard to follow. Overall, I found the book to be meandering, formless, and kind of dull. The "Chicano in search of his identity" stuff is pure marketing hype. "A Chicano in search of beer, chicks and drugs" would be more like it--but there isn't much of that here, either, in case you're looking for a story of epic debauchery by Hunter Thompson's Samoan attorney. Acosta comes off as a fairly conservative character--he was a Christian missionary in Panama at one time--and basically apolitical at this point in his life. He wanders around the country, goes to bars, tries peyote, smokes some weed, drinks a lot of beer, but it's all pretty low key and, personally, I never thought this kind of thing was very interesting to begin with. Still, Acosta is a fairly sympathetic character and he's a better writer than most. This isn't a bad book, but it isn't that great, either--read Hunter Thompson instead

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb book
This book is one of the most memorable I have read in many years. Oscar lived an incredible life, and his ability to render it in this book is consistently amazing. I've read this book about three times, and I reflect on the trajectory of Oscar's life often. ... Read more

8. Down These Mean Streets (Thirtieth-Anniversary Edition)
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679781420
Catlog: Book (1997-11-25)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 109581
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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The 30th anniversary edition of this classic memoir about growing up in Spanish Harlem includes an afterword reminding us that its streets are even meaner now, thanks to crack cocaine and the dismantling of government poverty programs. As a dark-skinned Puerto Rican, born in 1928, Piri Thomas faced with painful immediacy the absurd contradictions of America's racial attitudes (among people of all colors) in a time of wrenching social change. Three decades have not dimmed the luster of his jazzy prose, rich in Hispanic rhythms and beat-generation slang. ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars ALL Boricuas MUST READ! I highly recommend to ALL!
This is one of the first books I read, and it was very moving, touching and powerful for me. Being Boricua (Puerto Rican), born and raised in NYC's El Barrio, myself, and coming up on the same streets Piri lived on and wrote about made this book that much more special and personal for me. I was virtually able to re-live Piri's life through his book and eyes, albiet 50+ years later.

Piri's writing style is icy clear, lucid, and sometimes pretty raw. He writes so artfully that the entire book becomes like an epic saga, one powerful movie in your mind! It's a story of unvarnished reality. Piri pulls no punches. (I'm imagining you should probably be 15+ or so to read this.) You'll laugh, cry, get angry and go on a roller coaster of emotions with DTMS. I was so moved and touched by Piri's work, that I read all of his other books, and developed a new outlook and perspective on everything from writing, to self identity, and dignity (one of Piri's faves).

Buy Down These Mean Streets, in English or Spanish (Por Estas Calles Bravas), and pass it on. (I GUARANTEE you'll love it!) Piri is one of our first...and one of our best! The man's been p'al carajo and back, and tells it all in his unique Boricua style (often imitated, never duplicated).

I developed a lot of affection and love for Brother Piri, and was even fortunate enough to meet the Living Legend and have him over our home for an unforgettable dinner as our guest, where my entire familia, friends and neighbors (who I all got to read his books) all had the pleasure of meeting the larger than life Piri!

Much love, and respect to Brother Piri and and all of you, mi gente! (...)

I first heard this man, Mr. Piri Thomas, speak in the spring of 1993 at Cal State University at Hayward. I was so moved (as a high school student) that I had our school (California High School) invite him to speak at our "Free Your Mind" day on June 4th, 1993. I loved his poetic 'realness' - and it was the first time I felt really empowered as a person of color living in a largely suburban environment.

His experience and insight was so raw and so 'real'. In this autobiography, Mr. Thomas addresses issues of racial identity (he was dark skinned, but his brother was lighter skinned/more white looking) and how racism affected him as a Puerto Recan. It describes him growing up in Spanish Harlem, NY, moving down the coast, meeting friends and some crazy situations. I remember him really hitting rock bottom, and then coming out in the end. I always looked forward to reading on.

I read somewhere that R&B singer Brian McKnight considers this his favorite book. That's when I knew I just wasn't being easily impressed. This is an excellent life story, well written, and a must read for anyone interested in the topic of racial identity. Yes, we are all individuals, but we should never deny our heritage...thank you Mr. Piri Thomas. I feel nothing but the deepest respect for you...thanks for your vision, insight and generosity.

Knyte (Trust Me)

P.S. If I could give more than five stars...I would

4-0 out of 5 stars Puerto Rican experience life in the New York City
I think that this book should be required for all Puerto Rican people who live in New York. This book talks about what it was like to grow up in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. I think that this book does a good job explaining the experiences of a family. Also it talks about what Piri Thomas does and what kind of problems he is involved with, like drugs, in gangs, and that's very similar of what is going on now. I think people who don't want to be in a real trouble should read this book. I enjoyed the when Piri Thomas was sleeping out of his house because I imaging what can happen to me if I do the same things. This is the best book for anyone who is interested in learning about what is like for a Puerto Rican family to live in New York City.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn more about Piri Thomas... CHEVEROTE punto Com!
An awesome, phenomenal MUST READ for all Boricuas, Latinos and all people of color!

Visit Brother Piri at CHEVEROTE punto com.

And even get your own copies of his two best selling titles from the man, himself!

5-0 out of 5 stars GREATTTT
I loved this book it was comforting and very honest 50 million thumbs up! if u liked this book you'll love always running!!!!!!!! ... Read more

9. Father Greg and the Homeboys : The Extraordinary Journey of Father Boyle and His Work with the Latino Gangs of East L.A.
by Celeste Fremon
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786860898
Catlog: Book (1995-07-14)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 576896
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
Fremon's account of Father Greg's early 1990's work in Boyle Heights, CA. is as moving and powerful a work as one is likely to read. The fact that this book is out of print (currently) is a crime!


5-0 out of 5 stars a great book!
I teach criminal justice courses at Dodge City Community College. One of the topics most students are interested in is hispanic gangs. I found this book to be excellent, and a number of students have also said positive things about the book. It gives the reader a realistic view of gang life in LA, and Father Greg's work is very encouraging. I tell my students that 1 person can make a difference in life, but most don't believe me. The book not only depited gang members and their lives, it also demonstrated some programs that were effective. I highly recommend the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Father Greg--A Real-Life Angel
I had the pleasure of hearing Father Greg Boyle speak in my religion class at Santa Clara University earlier this year. I enjoyed his talk so much, I went to a subsequent one and it was there I was first introduced to his book. A wonderful book to compliment a wonderful person. Father Greg is truly an angel in human form.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performance
I tend to always to back and read this book one more time. I'm an English Lit. major and love this book. I grew up some what in Pico/Aliso projects and that book reminds me of all that went on in those years. Ms. Freman performed an outstanding book! ... Read more

10. Freak: A Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography
by John Leguizamo, John Lequizamo, David Bar Katz
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573220922
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 150213
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Freak is John Leguizamo's hilarious coming-of-age story.One of his generation's sharpest comic talents, Leguizamo returns to the Queens of his youth, where a boy's feet had to be as quick as his mouth.Freak is an adaptation of Leguizamo's autobiographical Broadway show and includes material never-before-seen-or-heard.Uncut, unstable, and oversexed, Freak is John Leguizamo at his uproarious best. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Leguizamo's upside-down world
The semi-autobiographical "Freak," developed with director David Bar Katz, made its Broadway debut at the Cort Theatre on Jan. 20, 1998. The book is a 1997 draft adapted for reading. The HBO show, filmed by Spike Lee, garnered for Leguizamo a "Best Performance" Emmy in a variety or music program. "Freak" follows two other Leguizamo stage shows, "Mambo Mouth" (1991) and "Spic-O-Rama" (1992).

The book renders a highly suspect, obscenely comical portrayal of Leguizamo's family and friends during his growing years. Describing his birth, Leguizamo says, "My first view of the world was upside down and between my mom's legs. And they wonder why I have problems." One of my favorite scenes from the book was when Nuyorican (New York Puerto Rican) Leguizamo meets up with his first "militant orthodox feminist vegan radical Latino separatist," in other words, a West Coast Chicano.

The book's design is highly complementary to the text. On the front cover, a big-mouth drawing of Leguizamo is pasted over a vibrating hot magenta and aqua striped background. A bright yellow, boldly lettered "FREAK" emerges from behind Leguizamo's head. Inside the book, the beginning of each scene triggers a repeated, visually stimulating opening sequence. The scene's title is set in an 84-pt. gray fringe typeface boxed by a 1-pt. white border on an all-black background, followed by a second page at the center of which is a cropped circle of Leguizamo's mischief-filled smiling face. The opening lines of the scene spiral outward, gradually increasing in size, from the face. On the third page are the opening lines repeated again (in case you skipped reading the text spiral). Thereafter, the rest of the text follows. Other quirky design details infiltrate the book. I'd keep this book in my library for its design as much as its content.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well....
John Said Himself That This Was Based On His Life And How He Really Exaggerated It For The Play And Then To The Book.I Have Seen Part Of The One-Man Show On HBO And I Thought It Was Really Funny.The Book Contains Some Pretty Funny And Weird Subject Matter.I Think That The Elaberation Of The "Characters" In The Book Were Really Funny And Had Some Cool Dialoge.One Part I Thought Was Grose-Out Funny Was His Father's Way Of Trying To Get The KFC Lady To Help John Became A Man.It Is Certinaly Not For Delicate Ears And Open For Open Minds.Hope You Like My Review...Feel Free To Look At My Others.Bye,Bye Now.....Have A Good Day

5-0 out of 5 stars Speechless!
Buy this book,go see the show,try to find a copy of the show on video tape.It's great.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Though nothing could be as good as Leguizamo's performance in his one-man Broadway show Freak, this short book comes close. If you've seen Freak, you will definitely want to own this print version. It is not exactly the same, but it is very similiar. Outstanding!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining and fun
A very enjoyable book, highly reccomende ... Read more

11. Brown: The Last Discovery of America
by Richard Rodriguez
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670030430
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 182445
Average Customer Review: 3.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

America is browning. As politicians, schoolteachers, and grandparents attempt to decipher what that might mean, Richard Rodriguez argues America has been brown from its inception, as he himself is.

As a brown man, I think . . .
(But do we really think that color colors thought?)

In his two previous memoirs, Hunger of Memory and Days of Obligation, Rodriguez wrote about the intersection of his private life with public issues of class and ethnicity. With Brown, his consideration of race, Rodriguez completes his "trilogy on American public life."

For Rodriguez, brown is not a singular color. Brown is evidence of mixture. Brown is a shade created by desire-an emblem of the erotic history of America, which began the moment the African and the European met within the Indian eye. Rodriguez reflects on various cultural associations of the color brown-toil, decay, impurity, time-arranging dazzling juxtapositions for which he is justly famous: Alexis de Tocqueville, Malcolm X, minstrel shows, Broadway musicals, Puritanism, the Sistine Chapel, Cubism, homosexuality, and the influence on his life of two federal figures-Ben Franklin and Richard Nixon ("the dark father of Hispanicity").

At the core of the book is an assessment of the meaning of Hispanics to the life of America. Reflecting upon the new demographic profile of our country, Rodriguez observes that Hispanics are becoming Americanized at the same rate that the United States is becoming Latinized. Hispanics are coloring an American identity that traditionally has chosen to describe itself as black and white.
... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great American Melded Pot
Anyone that things that race relations as an issue has fallen by the wayside or is somehow is a moot point will be enlightened by the eloquent, poetic point of view brought forth by Richard Rodriguez' latest book. Rodriguez does not forgo the often oversimplistic Black-White issue but suggests that they were always a hybrid issue of 'Brown'. America as a dynamic hotbed of ever-Westward expansion; and once the West was won of expansion of a more global nature. Selling the 'American Dream' in an effort to conquer and re-conquer in a never-ending quest for collective conciousness. Rodriguez suggests that the issue of race is not a physical one, but rather how one responds to this conciousness brought about by assimilation.

His anecdotes brings things down to a very personal level without which 'Brown' would come across as speculative and academic. Rodriguez paces things so well and his words are so graceful that one is moved not only by his observations and experiences, but also their self-awareness in a historical context.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's A Brown World
Richard Rodriguez's Brown is a stream of consciousness journey through brown as metaphor for the very mixed world we are headed towards. As a man of mixed culture [gay, Catholic, American, Mexican descent, indian, writer, etc.], Rodriguez is the perfect person to take us on this brown journey. I know of Rodriguez's writings from the Sunday Los Angeles Times and I read this book on the strength of the newspaper pieces. It was a thought provoking read that had my head swirling and I only got bogged down in chapter 2. Be ready to hit the dictionary and the encyclopedia. I live in a brown neighborhood in Whittier, California, I teach at a brown high school in La Habra, California, and even though my students would label me Anglo [I have reddish hair and spotted skin if anyone cares], given my very eclectic upbringing and interesting ancestry, I hope that I fit in well to the brown world around me. I recommend that you read this book and let Richard Rodriguez get into your head.

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful book..
When I found this book in the library I was surprised by how small it was. I'd heard of it before. It took me only about three days to get through it. It was a dreamlike essay from which I found nuggets of truth glistening here and there to pick up on and think, "oh yes, I've wondered about that myself!" I'm not sure what to think of Mr. Rodriguez but he is a very good writer. Sometimes his descriptions get sort of overdone, but mostly it's a good read. I would like to continue checking out his other books.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where's the meat????
I was excited to get this book after listening to Mr. Rodriquez on NPR. But as too often happens, the book makes most of its points by referring to people, places, literary texts, etc. that are not familiar to a normal person with a college education in something other than literature. This book was obviously written to impress ideas on the elite, whether educationally, politically, or otherwise. If you are willing to trudge through a very lyrical, almost poetic writing style, there are some very good stories and points to be made. But reading this book just wore me out. I think if only the relevent text had been printed, it would have been long enough for an editorial, not a book.

4-0 out of 5 stars We're all Brown
As the child of a West African father and Black American mother I too am brown, although I'm black. I have often been disturbed by the American tendency to believe in absolute categories, and to assume that certain behaviors, opinions and tastes naturally accompany these categories. For them I am an anomaly, for me they are too. It is heartening to hear a voice speaking directly to America's mixed heritage and confronting her color/caste assumptions. Though Mr. Rodriguez meanders more than usual this time around, the final destination is worth it. ... Read more

12. The Revolt of the Cockroach People
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679722122
Catlog: Book (1989-08-28)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 130082
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The further adventures of "Dr. Gonzo" as he defends the "cucarachas" -- the Chicanos of East Los Angeles.

Before his mysterious disappearance and probable death in 1971, Oscar Zeta Acosta was famous as a Robin Hood Chicano lawyer and notorious as the real-life model for Hunter S. Thompson's "Dr. Gonzo" a fat, pugnacious attorney with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs, and life on the edge.

In this exhilarating sequel to The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Acosta takes us behind the front lines of the militant Chicano movement of the late sixties and early seventies, a movement he served both in the courtroom and on the barricades. Here are the brazen games of "chicken" Acosta played against the Anglo legal establishment; battles fought with bombs as well as writs; and a reluctant hero who faces danger not only from the police but from the vatos locos he champions. What emerges is at once an important political document of a genuine popular uprising and a revealing, hilarious, and moving personal saga.

"Acosta has entered counterculture folklore:"

-- Saturday Review of Literature ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kansas
Re-Saturday Review of Literature
Oscar Acosta disappeared in Mexico in 1974, not 1971 (the year of his trip to Las Vegas with Dr. Thompson).

5-0 out of 5 stars Correction
Re-Saturday Review of Literature
Oscar Acosta disappeared in Mexico in 1974, not 1971 (the year of his trip to Las Vegas with Dr. Thompson).

5-0 out of 5 stars First Impressions
This is the most realistic book I have ever seen about Mexican American hippies in Aztlan, the Chicanos of the 1960's neo-freedom movements. It will surely become a collector's item worth saving in this era of gung-ho Americanism which does not know the kind of objectivity Acosta displays with regard to how we think and why we believe as we do. Hunter S. Thompson described the author better than I can in his introduction to the book, highlighting his uniqueness while lamenting his untimely passing. I will write more after I give the book a more thorough second reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sex, Drugs, and Politics
I read this book after finding out that Oscar Zeta Acosta was the fat Samoan lawyer from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Acosta's style is similar, with a lot of drugs and sex with minors. The differences are that Acosta isn't tripping the whole time and he has time to incite political rallies. I love when they protest the Catholic church, or when he pleasures himself with some nubile young high schoolers under a blanket during a sit-in.... For those interested in the turbulent times that was the 60s, this is a must-read.

4-0 out of 5 stars An awareness that should be taught to todays young Chicanos
After reading this book, and actually living through those turbulent times of the 60's and 70' s , it was refreshing to read and feel the burning frustration and love that this man was experiencing and the way he expressed his anger against the machine. This type of awareness has been lost , due to us the forefathers of the Chicano Movement, to teach our own and other's children of how important those actions were, so that we may emphasize education, political power and family values. We have implemented a course in Chicano Studies in schools, we now have political representation in our governments, and many more success stories that are due to the work of such people as Cesar Chavez, Ruben Salazar and Corky Gonzales. Oscar Zeta was a man amongst his own that was afraid of nothing and no one.My thanks to him for fighting the powers that be and for creating an example for all of us, regardless of race. You have to stand up for what you believe and Acosta is atrue testament to that. ... Read more

13. The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement
by Susan Ferriss, Ricardo Sandoval, Diana Hembree, Michele McKenzie
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151002398
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 631132
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

Okay, I'm biased. I'm the author of a mystery novel in current release that features a Latino private investigator as the protagonist, and I've been teaching in a rural California high school with a student population over 98% Hispanic for over twenty years. This biography, loaded with photographs and facts, is perfect for today. It clearly proves what an exceptional man Cesar Chavez was and what exceptional accomplishments that man achieved. If you have any interest in the real America, you have to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history
This very personal history of the Cesar Chavez and the UFW is a comprehensive account of the farmworkers movement and the difficulties encountered in their fight for justice and fair treatment. Very well written and illustrated.

4-0 out of 5 stars HUELGA! Gracias Cesar.
Fight in the Fields - without a doubt, a story worthy of a thousand books. This book is simply a comprehensive history of the UFW. The struggle and the suffering must never be forgotten and continue today. A fantastic account of a imensely important movement.

5-0 out of 5 stars To date, this is the most complete history of the UFW.
I haven't read the softcover revision, but the hardback edition of Fight in the Fields is the most complete history of the farm workers' movement led by Cesar Chavez out there. It is factual and personal. I worked with Cesar 11 years and our friendship spanned three decades. I also recommend With These Hands (Harcourt Brace) by Daniel Rothenberg for the expanded picture of farm labor around the nation. ... Read more

14. The Upside Down Boy / El niño de cabeza
by Juan Felipe Herrera, Elizabeth Gómez
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892391626
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Children's Book Press (CA)
Sales Rank: 66464
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Upside Down Boy is Juan Felipe Herrera's memoir of the year his migrant family settled down so that he could go to school for the first time. Jaunito is bewildered by the new school and misses the warmth of country life. Everything he does feels upside down: He eats lunch when it's recess, he goes out to play when it's time for lunch, and his tongue feels like a rock when he speaks English. But his sensitive teacher and loving family help him find his voice through poetry, art, and music. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Upside Down Boy
This multi-cultural storybook celebrates diversity through both the telling of the story and the inclusion of two languages: English and Spanish. Juanito is the son of migrant workers from Mexico. Neither of his parents had the opportunity to complete school, but realize the importance of education. When Juanito reaches school age, his parents settle down so that he may regularly attend. At first the new schedules feel strange to Juanito and he is often doing the wrong thing during designated times. However, once he adjusts, he discovers his beautiful singing voice, artistic talent, and receives high marks for a poem he wrote. He and his parents are proud of the success Juanito finds in school despite the challenge of adapting to an unfamiliar language and culture. The vibrant illustrations promote the positive feeling towords multiculturalism portrayed in this picture storybook. ... Read more

15. The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345453905
Catlog: Book (2004-03-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 317979
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Nasdijj’s critically acclaimed, award-winning memoir, The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, took the literary world by storm. “An authentic, important book,” raved Esquire. “Unfailingly honest and very nearly perfect.” Now, this celebrated Native American writer has given readers a powerful, brave, and deeply moving memoir of the unconditional love between a father and a son.

Eleven-year-old Awee came to live with Nasdijj carrying a brown paper bag containing all his belongings, a legacy of abuse, and AIDS. But this beautiful, loving, and intelligent little boy also had enormous hope for his new life. The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is the heart-rending but also joyous story of this untraditional little family, filled with love and laughter, but also with great pain, as Awee became progressively more ill.

Nasdijj writes about their motorcycle trip to see the ocean for the first time, about baths and baseball, about Awee’s “big brother” Crow Dog, and his dog, Navajo, but also about the brutal realities of reservation life and the challenges of dealing with a sometimes hostile medical establishment that often lacks the knowledge to treat pediatric AIDS. In the end, Nasdijj must find his own way of alleviating Awee’s suffering—and of helping him maintain his dignity in the face of a disease that gradually robs him of himself.

By turns searing and searching, lyrical and raw, The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is ultimately transcendent—for in the end Awee got what he wanted most in his short life: a real dad.

From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The boy and the dog are sleeping
The book was touching and amazing to me. He is very poetic and so open and willing to write how he feels and what he is thinking. He writes things that most people would never dream to admit that is what they even thought about. Its wonderful. He is so real I love it. I have recommended this book to my friends and they love it as well. I was craving more when I was done with it. It was sensational. I read his other one as well and its just as good. This man is amazing. I would love to thank him for the insights he gave me and the way I was able to have his book help me in my life. I hope many more people can benifit from this mans writing as well. Nasdijj I say bravo to you, and Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars A haunting love story
This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I finished it weeks ago and still think about it so often it's haunting. A relative was reading the book and said, "read just the first two pages to get a sense of his writing..." Two days later, I emerged having finished the book--it was one of those books I just couldn't stop. Nasdijj's writing is beautiful--in many ways it seems to be the only kind of writing that could ever get close to what he wants to say. But above all, I felt this was a love story--of the truest and most beautiful kind, between a father and son who are not biologically related but who chose each other. Nasdijj's love for Awee is magnificent--it is inspiring and frightening for it points to the horrific lack of love in the rest of the world, and in our own private lives. To be able to love the way Nasdijj loves...And Awee is such a character! It's easy to see why Nasdijj loved him as he did. I too mourn for this boy.

I feel honored to have been allowed to read this intimate story. I am deeply grateful to the author for allowing us into his heart and for introducing us to Awee (as well as Crow Dog). This book will stay with you for a long time, it will change the way you think about children with AIDs, about Native Americans in general, and about the politics of medicine. It changed the way I thought about love and parenting and life itself. Deep gratitude to Nasdijj. Read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars an amazing story of giving
Wildly Enthusiastic Recommendation: The boy and the dog are sleeping by Nasdijj
I had to tear myself away from Awee, the little boy in this amazing memoir, to get out the door to run this morning. This book has absolutely gripped my essence. A story of love between a man and boy - not any man and boy. An 11-year old with AIDS and the dad he adopted - the daddy who is fabulously in love with the child, the child who has learned to love with all his being a father who is not his naturally, but has become his wholly, spiritually. No father could give and take more. That's the spirit of this relationship - giving and taking from each other. It seems to me Nasdijj gets the better portion of the giving. That's how Awee is. It's a very tough read. AIDS is not pretty, and Nasdijj tells us about things we wish did not exist. But you won't be the same after you read this book. It's a must.

4-0 out of 5 stars Compelling
This is a very moving and compelling piece of work. It certainly isn't orthodox, either in it's content or it's style. It is disturbing and thought provoking. And while you certainly will not agree with all the methods Nasdijj employs - I actually cringed when I read about Awee having a sexual experiance with the mechanic - in the end you have to empathize with his motives. He was placed in an impossible situation, one that had no road map, no directions, no guareentees, and he did what he thought was right.

Nasdijj has an unforgettable writing style that is all his own. And while it would seem ridiculous, even juvinile, anywhere else, it works so very well with the stories Nasdijj has to tell.

I only gave it 4 stars, however, because, in my opinion, it just doesn't have the same impact that Nasdijj's first book did. When I read "The Blood Runs Like a River.." I actually wept like a child. I told everybody I knew about the book. I sent copies to friends. This book, "The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping", just doesn't have the same emotional thrust.

"The Blood Runs Like a River..." had the feel and spontaneity of reading someone's diary. That's why it was so...real. You felt it all the way down to your bones and you knew it was true and untainted and from the heart.

"The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping" has a more, dare I say, commercial feel to it. You don't feel like you've peeked into someone's feel like you're reading a carefully constructed book, written for distribution.

Don't misunderstand me - this book is a great work and certainly worthy of your attention.

But I think fans of "The Blood Runs Like a River..." are going to recognize the lack of spontaneity and miss that feeling of innocence that made us fall in love with Nasdijj in the first place.

5-0 out of 5 stars American health system fails native Americans
Native American author Nasdijj delivers an unforgettable memoir with The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping, a chronicle of the death of his adopted son, a 12-year-old Navajo born with AIDS. Nasdijj, whose first son, also adopted, died of fetal alcohol syndrome, is persuaded to adopt Awee by the boy's parents, also AIDS patients. Against his better judgment, Nasdijj agrees. Taking on hopeless boys is something of an addiction with him, he admits.

"I want the mad ones," Nasdijj writes. "The children who have had everything taken away from them. The children who are broken and mad enough to attempt to repair themselves. The children mad enough to spit and fight."

Nasdijj makes some unorthodox decisions about how Awee should spend his last weeks of life, choices he suspects minivan moms would not approve of. Instead of hunkering down in a hospital or hospice, with pill bottles and intravenous drip close at hand, Nasdijj takes his son on a motorcycle to the coast, lets him play baseball, lets him spend the day in an auto repair shop and introduces him to several Indian rites of passage.

Along the way, Nasdijj exposes the failure of America's health care system to provide relief for indigent AIDS patients, especially those on Indian reservations, where welfare hospitals may take as long as six weeks to return blood test results. Awee is frequently in and out of the hospital-with pneumonia, with terrible pain from nerve damage, with sarcoma.

The most scathing criticism Nasdijj offers is the health care industry's failure to relieve a 12-year-old's pain. Here, Nasdijj runs up against a medical brick wall. Pain medications for children with AIDS haven't been developed, he writes, and doctors are unwilling to experiment.

Despite the prevailing darkness and forgone conclusion of The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping, the book has wonderful moments of humor, whimsy and warmth. But the narrative's most important accomplishment may very well be its biting commentary on the neglect of AIDS patients in a complacent society that mistakenly believes the monster has been leashed. ... Read more

16. Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios (Latin America Otherwise)
by The Latina Feminist Group
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822327651
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Duke Univ Pr (Txt)
Sales Rank: 464041
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Telling to Live embodies the vision that compelled Latina feminists to engage their differences and find common ground. Its contributors reflect varied class, religious, ethnic, racial, linguistic, sexual, and national backgrounds. Yet in one way or another they are all professional producers of testimonios—or life stories—whether as poets, oral historians, literary scholars, ethnographers, or psychologists. Through coalitional politics, these women have forged feminist political stances about generating knowledge through experience. Reclaiming testimonio as a tool for understanding the complexities of Latina identity, they compare how each made the journey to become credentialed creative thinkers and writers. Telling to Live unleashes the clarifying power of sharing these stories.

The complex and rich tapestry of narratives that comprises this book introduces us to an intergenerational group of Latina women who negotiate their place in U.S. society at the cusp of the twenty-first century. These are the stories of women who struggled to reach the echelons of higher education, often against great odds, and constructed relationships of sustenance and creativity along the way. The stories, poetry, memoirs, and reflections of this diverse group of Puerto Rican, Chicana, Native American, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Sephardic, mixed-heritage, and Central American women provide new perspectives on feminist theorizing, perspectives located in the borderlands of Latino cultures.

This often heart wrenching, sometimes playful, yet always insightful collection will interest those who wish to understand the challenges U.S. society poses for women of complex cultural heritages who strive to carve out their own spaces in the ivory tower. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book
Telling To Live is an important book that will serve as both inspiration and information-source for years to come. While calls for a more diverse scholarship permeate academia, so few books are written from the viewpoint of Latinas. The use of the "testimonios" format is particularly compelling as the authors relate their personal experience to larger political issues such as empowerment, invisibility, the body. This thematic organization makes the book particularly well suited for use in the classroom. ... Read more

17. The Hispanic American Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States (Hispanic American Almanac)
by Sonia Benson, Nicolas Kanellos
list price: $150.00
our price: $150.00
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Asin: 0787625183
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Gale Group
Sales Rank: 1090173
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18. Barrio Boy
by Ernesto Galarza
list price: $11.50
our price: $11.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0268004412
Catlog: Book (1971-06-01)
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Sales Rank: 511030
Average Customer Review: 3.18 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well done and written for those with a sense of history!
Dr. Galarza was outstanding in this autobiography. It is easy to follow if you are enjoying it. A sense of history and knowledge of Mexican-American culture will ease the read. However, anyone with an open mind can follow it and enjoy it with little problem.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good example of ethnic minority autobiography
I have used Galarza's book successfully in many classes I have taught. While there is a lot of apparently "needless" detail if you are looking for some kind of exciting "story" or plot, if you actually read the (very short author's) introduction to the book, you'll realize that Galarza's "point" in writing was to establish what it was like to move from a small pueblo in Mexico to a large US city. As such, there are a lot of details which are not necessarily related to "action" per se, but more a sense of trying to understand new environments, new cultural traditions, new ways of living. And how life in the US affected Mexican migrant families in the early 20th century. If you are looking for an account of Mexican immigration & acculturation that is both personal and subtly historic/sociological, then this is a good book for that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching Mexico
I came on this book by chance and read it in two sittings. As a North American who has lived in Mexico for four years, I found myself connecting with something on every page about Ernesto Galarza's life in Western Mexico until he was six and then following him until he was a teenager in Sacramento. After reading how the Mexican Revolution affected his family's decisions, I want to read more about Mexican history of the period. The book is notable for Galarza's ear and eye as he paints the details of village life, the series of moves in Mexico, and the many decisions the Galarza family made as they moved step by step away from physical danger. The last parts of the book about life in a Sacramento barrio interested me less but still kept me reading.

When I closed the book I went on the internet to learn more about Galarza. I found out he became a leading organizer and scholar constantly involved in Hispanic life but his book would be memorable even if he had led a more commonplace adult life.

On a lighter note, his account of appearing as a first-grader in a Cinco de Mayo performance was so vivid I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Readers who were bored by this book may have been assigned to read it in school. I think Barrio Boy would be an excellent read before going to Mexico--it's a pageturner that can deepen the Mexican experience for the imaginative traveler.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authentic Immigrant Story
This is one of the most capturing stories I have read of an immigrant coming to the U.S. It was like hearing the stories told time and time again by my parents and grandparents. I have read it twice, once in high school and again in college. Both times Ernesto Galarza was able to draw me into his journey and allowed me to travel along side him, while experiencing a tremendous journey made by thousands.

1-0 out of 5 stars Slow Moving
I bought this book based on previous positive reviews and supposed awards it had received. I was very disappointed because the book moved very slowly, and did not draw me into the story. I, too, did not bother to finish this book. I would not recommend this book to anyone. If you want to read a great book about the mexican experience in the USA try Rain of Gold, by Victor Villasenor. Now there is a great great book! ... Read more

19. Cortijo's Wake/El Entierro De Cortijo
by Edgardo Rodriguez Julia, Juan Flores
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0822332167
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Duke University Press
Sales Rank: 268655
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A bilingual edition of a renowned work of Puerto Rican literature, Cortijo’s Wake/El entierro de Cortijo is novelist Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá’s vivid description of the funeral of legendary Puerto Rican musician Rafael Cortijo. El entierro de Cortijo became an immediate bestseller following its original publication in Puerto Rico in 1983. An unparalleled Afro-Puerto Rican percussionist and bandleader, Cortijo (1928–1982) revolutionized the country’s musical culture. His band, Cortijo y Su Combo, captivated Caribbean and Latin American audiences as it emerged in the mid-1950s. Immensely popular across Puerto Rican social classes, the band both "modernized" the traditional vernacular forms of bomba and plena and forcefully reestablished their African and working-class roots. The group’s innovations have been integral to salsa since the 1960s.

Winding through the streets of working-class San Juan with Cortijo’sfuneral procession, Rodríguez Juliá’s autobiographical chronicleprovides a rare portrait of the impoverished society from whichCortijo’s music emerged. Along with detailed renderings ofgrief-stricken mourners—including Cortijo’s childhood friend andfellow musician, the celebrated singer Ismael ("Maelo")Rivera—Rodríguez Juliá records his feelings as he, alight-skinned, middle-class writer, confronts the world of poor blackPuerto Ricans. The author’s masterful shifting of linguisticregisters, his acute sensitivity to Puerto Rican social codes, hisbroad knowledge of popular music, and his sardonic ruminations ondeath and immortality make this one of the most widely read books ofmodern Puerto Rican literature. Well-known critic and culturalhistorian Juan Flores has provided a scrupulous translation ofRodríguez Juliá’s text and an introduction situating the book inrelation to Puerto Rican music and culture and the careers ofCortijo and Rodríguez Juliá. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cortijo, the musician and friend
A wonderful memory of a dear friend and one of the kindest human beings I've had the pleasure to know.

I left Puerto Rico in 1980 and still, in my heart, think of it as home. ... Read more

20. Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color
by Victor, Jr. Villanueva
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814103774
Catlog: Book (1993-11-01)
Publisher: National Council of Teachers of English
Sales Rank: 288261
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Oye, comemierda: el autor es boriqua.
Of course, anyone who has actually read the book will know that Villanueva is from a Puerto Rican family, not a Mexican one.

Not that it matters.This is an important book for anyone in English studies, not just rhetoric & composition.Read it now.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mexican who became a success, in spite of the odds!
This is a true story of the prejudice that Mexicans and people of color face in school and and in life. Luckily, he found a teacher who understood him, and gave him hope. Today, Victor Villanueva is a leader of his field,but still many people who would accept him if he was white, will not accepthim because of his Mexican heritage. ... Read more

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