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About Gary Soto
GARY SOTO, born in 1952 and raised in Fresno, California, is the author of thirteen poetry collections for adults, most notably NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Award and the National Book Award. He has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize and the California Library Association's John and Patricia Beatty Award [twice], in addition to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts [twice], and the Guggenheim Foundation. For ITVS, he produced the film "The Pool Party," which received the 1993 Andrew Carnegie Medal. In 1995, for his work with young people, he was selected NBC's Person of the Week. In 1999 he was honored with the Human and Civil Rights Award from the American Education Association, the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and the PEN Center West Book Award for his young-adult short story collection PETTY CRIMES. In all, his books have sold over four million copies. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College, where he got his start as a poet in the early 1970s.
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Titles By Gary Soto
Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . .
This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate and funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.
Also available in Spanish as ¡Qué montón de tamales!
Miata Ramirez is scared and upset. The skirt she brought to show off at school is gone. She brought her forklorico skirt to show off at school and left it on the bus. It’s not just any skirt. This skirt belonged to Miata’s mother when she was a child in Mexico. On Sunday, Miata and her dance group are supposedgoing to dance forklorico, or traditional Mexican folk dances; and that kind of dancing requires a skirt like the one Miata lost. It’s Friday afternoon. Miata doesn’ t want her parents to know she’s lost something again. Can she find a way to rescue the precious skirt in time?
With its focus on family ties, friendship, and ethnic pride and Includes an afterword from its acclaimedthe author, The Skirt is a story that children everywhere will relate to and be inspired by, no matter their background.
"A light, engaging narrative that successfully combines information on Hispanic culture with familiar and recognizable childhood themes....A fine read-aloud and discussion starter, this story blends cultural differences with human similarities to create both interest and understanding."—SLJ
“Light, easy reading . . . offering readers a cast and situations with which to identify, whatever their own ethnic origins.”—The Bulletin
"Soto's light tale offers a pleasant blend of family ties, friendship and ethnic pride...[and Miata is] a spunky and imaginative heroine."—Publishers Weekly
On his thirteenth birthday, Ronnie woke up feeling like a chimp—all long armed, big eared, and gangly. He's been muddling through each gawky day since. Now his best friend, Joey, has turned thirteen, too—and after Joey humiliates himself in front of a cute girl, he climbs a tree and refuses to come down. So Ronnie sets out to woo the girl on Joey's behalf. After all, teenage chimps have to stick together.
Acclaimed author Gary Soto tells a fun and touching story about friendship, understanding, and the painful insecurities of being thirteen.
What do Gaby Lopez, Michael Robles, and Cynthia Rodriguez have in common? These three kids join other teens and tweens in Gary Soto's new short story collection, in which the hard-knock facts of growing up are captured with humor and poignance.
Filled with annoying siblings, difficult parents, and first loves, these stories are a masterful reminder of why adolescence is one of the most frustrating and fascinating times of life.
A totally modern, totally cool tale of teenage romance.
¡Viva César Chávez!
Up and down the San Joaquin Valley of California, and across the country, people chanted these words. Cesar Chavez, a migrant worker himself, was helping Mexican Americans work together for better wages, for better working conditions, for better lives.
No one thought they could win against the rich and powerful growers. But Cesar was out to prove them wrong -- and that he did.
A funny, touching, and wholly original story by one of the finest authors writing for young readers today.
His is a clarity that rings constantly through the warmth and wry reality of these sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, always human remembrances.
A poignant, humorous collection by acclaimed poet Gary Soto
The fleeting emotions of teenagers, as changeable as the weather, ring true in these emotionally resonant poems. Told from the point of view of both boys and girls, narrators of various ethnicities fall in love for the first time, pine over crushes, and brood over broken hearts. Tender, lighthearted, and surprising, this collection will capture teens, tweens, and anyone who remembers what it’s like to be a young person in love.
The acclaimed young adult biography of the UFW's first female organizer.
This inspiring story of Jessie De La Cruz, the United Farmer Workers, and la Causa is told as only Gary Soto—novelist, essayist, poet, and himself a field laborer during his teens—can tell it, with respect, empathy, and deep compassion for the working poor.
A field worker from the age of five, Jessie knew poverty, harsh working conditions, and the exploitation of Mexicans and all poor people. Her response was to take a stand. She joined the fledgling United Farm Workers union and, at Cesar Chavez's request, became its first woman recruiter. She also participated in strikes, helped ban the crippling short-handle hoe, became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, testified before the Senate, and met with the Pope.
Jessie's life story personalizes an historical movement and shows teens how an ordinary woman became extraordinary through her will to make change happen, not just for herself but for others.
Meet Carolina, who writes to Miss Manners for help not just with etiquette but with bigger messes in her life; Javier, who knows the stories his friend Veronica tells him are lies, but can't find a way to prove it—and many other kids, each caught up in the difficulties of figuring out what it means to be alive.