November 9, 2018

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

They were children themselves, my mother and father, when they started having children in 1967 on the border of South Texas.
The Distance Between Us: A Memoir
Reyna Grande

The Distance Between Us: A Memoir

By: Reyna Grande
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Mago pointed to a spot on the dirt floor and reminded me that my umbilical cord was buried there. “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.” Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.” When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother. The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. --From the website at Simon & Schuster

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

The Boy Kings of Texas
Domingo Martinez

The Boy Kings of Texas

By: Domingo Martinez
Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author's boyhood spent in his sister's hand-me-down clothes, this book delves into the enduring, complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel. It features a cast of memorable characters, including his gun-hoarding former farmhand, Gramma, and "the Mimis"— two of his older sisters who for a short, glorious time manage to transform themselves from poor Latina adolescents into upper-class white girls. Martinez provides a glimpse into a society where children are traded like commerce, physical altercations routinely solve problems, drugs are rampant, sex is often crude, and people depend on the family witch doctor for advice. Charming, painful, and enlightening, this book examines the traumas and pleasures of growing up in South Texas and the often terrible consequences when different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river. —Lyons Press

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

We the Animals
Justin Torres

We the Animals

By: Justin Torres
Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9, 10, 11

Three brothers tear their way through childhood— smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he's Puerto Rican, she's white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times. —from the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

A House of My Own: Stories From My Life
Sandra Cisneros

A House of My Own: Stories From My Life

By: Sandra Cisneros
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades—and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last. Written with her trademark lyricism, in these signature pieces the acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street shares her transformative memories and reveals her artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, A House of My Own is an exuberant celebration of a life lived to the fullest, from one of our most beloved writers. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.