Friday, June 8, 2012

48 Hour Book Challenge: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Under the Mesquite

My confession: I LOVE novels written in free verse. A lot of my English language learners tend to rotate around free verse books. Some of them find free verse"less intimidating" and I can understand that from their point of view. Free verse novels still give them a solid story line, with increasing plots, and complicating characters but it reads much faster. That's why I always keep my eyes open for free verse novels and the summer is such a great opportunity for me to get caught up with newest publication.

I was very excited to find Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. This family story about hope, family bonds, and pain. Lupita, is the oldest daughter in a family of eight siblings. Being the oldest one means having responsibilities, chores and many times just leading the rest of the sibling.  However, when the family finds out that mom has Cancer, the family finds themselves lost. Until Lupita decides she needs to stand up and support the family in the best ways she can. She struggles finding a balance as she tries to keep the faith, help her siblings, support mom and dad, and do well at school. Lupita needs a focus point so badly to help her keep going...but what will it be?

A painful story for sure but the author did find the inspiration to write this book after having gone through similar experiences. Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a child. This have helped her keeping close contact with other relatives back home.  The author has included a wonderful "Spanish Words and Cultural Reference" pages in the back of the book to help understand the words used throughout the book.

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