A collection of nine stories about Mexican American kids growing up in the Rio Grande Valley of southern Texas.
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David Rice has always lived in Texas. Born in 1964 in Weslaco, he now divides his time between Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. South Texas and his Mexican American culture are the inspiration for most of his work. The writer-in-residence for Llano Grande Center for Research and Development in Edcouch, he teaches and mentors high school students in creative writing. His previous short story collection, Give the Pig a Chance, has received much acclaim, and his stories have been included in several other anthologies for adults and teens. He has also written and directed plays, short films, and a one-man show called "Just a Kid from Edcouch."From School Library Journal:
Gr 7 Up-Two great strengths of these stories are the pitch-perfect sense for the speech and thought patterns of teens and the vivid depiction of the daily lives of Mexican-Americans in Texas's Rio Grande Valley. One story focuses on two small-town boys trying to cope when their older and more sophisticated California cousins come to visit. Another is about the loving relationship between a girl and her great-aunt, a midwife who retires at age 85 after her grand-niece is born. Another tells of a teen who resents having to move in with his grandfather after his parents' divorce and having to adapt to the old man's ways. Rice highlights the details of these ordinary lives-including Spanish words and phrases as well as Catholic practices-while still revealing the universal patterns behind the cultural particularities. The strongest stories here-"Last Mass," "Her Other Son," and "Papa Lalo"-also display a firm control of narrative and dramatic unity, drawing readers on to emotionally satisfying but not predictable conclusions. In the weaker stories, the insights and the voice are still sharp, but the narratives are less compelling. Even so, this is a powerful collection that should enjoy a wide audience.
Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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