The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales

Title: The Tequila Worm

Author: Viola Canales

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Published Date: 2005

Sofia is of Mexican American decent. She lives in a small barrio in southern Texas. Even though the family has lived in American for generations, they still hold their Mexican traditions. Sofia is an average teenager. Second guessing who she is, who she wants to be and who outsiders see her as. Growing up with a different culture than those around her is hard. She is always asking why she has to be different. It isn’t until she goes to a boarding school that she realizes that what she has is everything she could ever want.

Loved this story. There is so much Mexican culture detailed in this story that I would have never known about on my own. Yet, this story could have been my life. Every child feels like they are somehow different from everyone else. To be placed in an area where your family’s culture is different as well, makes growing up that much harder.

Found this graphic that I thought was awesome!

 

 

Happy Reading!

R

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Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton

Title: Chanda’s Secrets

Author: Allan Stratton

Publisher: Annick Press

Published Date: 2004

Chanda’s Secrets is about a young African girl who has to grow up fast. Her father and brothers died in a mining accident when she was just a few years old. After the accident her mother went through a string of marriages and men. All the while Chanda went to school and helped raise the new children. The last man that her mother married was a no good man. He was a drunkard and cheater. And like so many men, women and children in African contracted HIV/AIDS and gave it to her mother. Losing everyone she ever loved to the disease, Chanda stays stong through it all. She is not afraid of AIDs and stands up for her family, friends and loved ones. Because of her strength, her town becomes less afraid to talk about the disease and they all become a close neighborhood.

My little synopsis of the book does not due the book justice. If I were to mention even half of everything that happened in the book, this post would be two pages long. The story is fictional, in that Mr. Stratton didn’t base it on a real life event. The AIDS epidemic and the suffering in Africa are all real. This story takes real life problems and brings them home with you. As an American, the AIDS epidemic seems far off to┬ámost. For me, I have never known anyone with it. Reading about the what is happening to people due to the virus is eye opening. I’ve never been more grateful for living in America and having the education to know about diseases like AIDS.

If you are looking for a good eye opening book or want to read a beautiful story about a young girl looking to save her friends and family, then this is that read.

Happy Reading!

R

Repost: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I read this a few years ago and I’m surprised, but I wrote a pretty good review!! Here it is! One down!

Junior is one of those kids that doesn’t see his own potential and only sees himself through other people’s eyes. Through this coming of age story, he learns to see himself and the possibilities that are out there for him.

Junior defies his reservation by going outside the reservation for schooling. He sees what it is like on the reservation and has big plans for his future. He doesn’t want to end up stuck like everyone else that he knows. His sister is a loner that never leaves her room, his parents are drunks (along with all the other parents on the res), and his best friend scares the crap out of him. By leaving, he learns that just because it seems like you are stuck in a situation, you control your destiny. Junior makes one major change in his life and it turns his life upside down. He leaves the res to go to a better school and changes the life of everyone on the res. His sister leaves her room and finds herself married and moved to another res, his parents become more aware of him and start paying attention to him, the people on the res are jealous of his courage to leave and end up hating him and the only one that truly stands behind him in his decision is his grandmother.

The writing in this book is so well done, that it keeps you wanting to know more and more about Junior’s life and what is going to happen to him. I hate to compare this with the Georgia Nicholson books, but it really does remind me of them. Junior is witty and humorous throughout. Alexie doesn’t leave anything out. I believed that a young male was writing this “diary” and thinking all the thoughts that were Junior’s. I definitely recommend this to all readers young and old.

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