Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe) explores the relationships of a high school senior during troubling times, in a coming-of-age story suffused with warmth and compassion. Sal is devastated when he learns that his beloved grandmother, Mima, is dying of cancer, but that isn’t the only thing on his mind. He’s frightened by the violent impulses within him that have unexpectedly surfaced after one classmate calls his gay adoptive father a “faggot” and another calls Sal a “pinche gringo” (Sal punches both offenders). Then there’s the unopened letter from Sal’s late biological mother. Luckily, Sal has support from several loving individuals, including his adopted Mexican-American family, who welcomed him with open arms at age three, and two close friends: Sammy, who remains loyal even after suffering a tragedy of her own, and Fito, who has emerged a survivor despite an unstable family life. Written in short chapters that eloquently describe Sal’s deepest fears and most intense moments of affection, the story celebrates compassion and the love of family. Ages 12–up. Agent: Patricia Moosbrugger, Patricia Moosbrugger Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2017 Release date: 03/07/2017 Genre: Children's
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