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Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box by [Juan Felipe Herrera]

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Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8-10–Young adult fiction dealing with 9/11 has been slow to be published, so Herrera's book might have helped fill the void. Unfortunately it is a disappointing effort. It is a pastiche of poetry and letters written by 10th-grader Yolanda, whose uncle lies attached to life-support machinery after having been rescued from the rubble of the Twin Towers. Yo, herself, has been rescued from a too-daring adolescence in Iowa, where she was befriended by kids engaged in clubbing, drinking, and a game of chicken that ended in tragedy. Now in New York City, the Puerto Rican teen and her relatives keep a bedside vigil and, in a moment of consciousness, her uncle implores her to save the others. She does so the only way she can: by gathering dust and ashes from the streets and storing it in plastic bags. As her desperation to complete her quest increases, she stays out all night in the company of a boy who convinces her to smoke pot and then abandons her. Amid all the bleakness and despair, Yo's mother finds her and lets her know that she has been better understood–all along–than she had realized. Even better, her uncle has awakened from his coma. Many stories are touched upon, but none are fully developed. The fragments of poetry fluctuate in time and setting and mingle English with Spanish and Spanglish (often untranslated in the appended glossary) in ways that are sometimes difficult to comprehend. Herrera offers glimpses of greater penetration and vision, but the overall package is a mishmash.–Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Heartbroken that her beloved uncle DJ lies in intensive care following an injury he suffered while delivering roses at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks, Yolanda, 13, makes a manda, a promise, to help others so that he will live. In clear free verse, she remembers how, two years before, her Puerto Rican family emigrated to Iowa, where Papi worked in a poultry factory, and their recent move to Loisada (the Lower East Side), where her best friend is a classmate from Kuwait. She reads the letters her loving uncle sent her, and also poems about him that she has kept in a cereal box. There's too much going on in the story, and the constant jumps in time and place are sometimes confusing. Even so, Herrera depicts the immigration experience with intensity and drama, and even readers who aren't Latino will understand Yolanda's feelings as she stares out the tenement window at quiensabedonde ("who knows where"). Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01767YZXM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperTeen; Reprint edition (February 23, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 23, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 736 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

About the author

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Juan Felipe Herrera was initiated into the Word by the fire-speakers of the early Chicano Movimiento and by heavy exposure to various poetry, jazz, and blues performance streams. He is the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California - Riverside. His published works include Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream, Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of the Americas, and Thunderweavers / Tejedoras de Rayos.

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
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