In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

UNDER THE MESQUITE by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

copyright date: September 2011
primarily marketed for: young adults (12 and up)

I am a sucker for a novel told in verse.  I am a sucker for anything having to do with Mexican culture.  I am a sucker for a metaphor involving a tree.  I am a sucker for a novel that makes me feel.  So, needless to say, Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall has found its way into my heart.

The protagonist, Lupita, is the oldest of 8 siblings!  She is used to caring for her brothers and sisters and almost has a friendship with her mother as opposed to a mother-daughter relationship.  But there are still some things her mother doesn’t think Lupita is ready to hear.  When Lupita hears her parents whispering and realizes they are keeping something from her, she demands to know the truth, and finds out that her mother has cancer. 

From that point forward, Lupita’s life will never be the same.  She does all she can to keep her family together while her mother fights a battle for her life. 

Lupita finds her own way of coping with all that is happening to her family—by writing in a journal beneath the mesquite tree behind her house. 

Her words tell the beautiful story of a young girl trying to become who she is in the midst of her mother’s illness, the needs of her 7 siblings, the Mexican and American cultures to which she belongs, and her own developing talents as a writer and actress.

This book begs to be read while resting beneath a tree.

1 comment:

  1. I have this, but still haven't opened it, Christy. It sounds so poignant & a difficult read. But also sounds beautiful. Thanks!