The one thing I regret is that I will never have time to read all the books I want to read.
--Francoise Sagan

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales

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 I decided to check it out.

At first, I was'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.

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