This is a sweet little adolescent lit book that my sixth graders have to read for seventh grade summer reading. I'd never heard of it...so I decided to check it out.
At first, I was frustrated...it's a lot like House on Mango Street...but far less beautiful. It's about a Mexican American family living in Texas. The older daughter, Sofia, wants out...wants to build a better life for herself. The story's told in her voice...Like Mango Street , it's a series of little episodes or vignettes strung together...and initially, I couldn't see where it was headed. Unlike, Mango Street, the style seemed overly simplistic. The dialogue felt contrived...I almost put it down.
I'm glad I didn't!
In the end, it came together beautifully. It was really touching...and many of the images...the father's brown and white cowboy boots; the family gathered around the table for sobremesa, cups of coffee in hand; the homemade cascarones, the glow-in-the-dark rosary; the pinto bean ritual; the Christmas nacimiento...will stay with me for a long, long time. So will the characters.