Our Next Good Read. . .Under the Mesquite

It’s our last book group meeting of the semester! We hope you’ll join us May 6th at Under-the-MesquiteBookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are reading Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe García McCall.

It’s a novel-in-verse, so it could be a great follow up to April’s National Poetry Month. Here’s a sneak peek into the book:

As the oldest of eight siblings, Lupita is used to taking the lead—and staying busy behind the scenes to help keep everyone together. But when she discovers Mami has been diagnosed with cancer, Lupita is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit Mexican American family. Suddenly Lupita must face a whole new set of challenges, with new roles to play, and no one is handing her the script.

In the midst of juggling life as a high school student, testing her wings as an actress, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, Lupita desperately wants to support Mami in whatever way she can. While her father stays with Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she escapes the chaos of home by writing in the shade of a mesquite tree. Overwhelmed by change and loss, she takes refuge in the healing power of words.

Told with honest emotion in evocative free verse, Lupita’s journey is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. Under the Mesquite is an empowering story about the testing of family bonds, the strength of a young woman navigating pain and hardship with surprising resilience, and the kind of love that cannot be uprooted.

Be sure to get entered in our drawing for one of five free copies of the book!! All you have to do is comment on any blog post by April 21st!

We hope to see you on May 6th!

6 thoughts on “Our Next Good Read. . .Under the Mesquite

  1. Good to have a book about the life of an oldest daughter responsibility in a family. For my students, it’s only fifth grade and already a few of my female students are pulled from free after school tutoring to to instead watch the sibs after school.This is a tough position in a society that does not often allow for a “homemaker career”. Additionally, what of those dreams of girls, how to nurture hope for developing their unique path only they can follow?

    We are just finishing up “Before We Were Free” by Julia Alvarez and the students are riveted by the lives of such a courageous yet common family.

    • Before We Were Free is wonderful. I’m so glad your students are enjoying it. I think you’re right on about why books like Under the Mesquite are important. I just finished reading it last week–I thought it was wonderful!

  2. Books like this trancend cultures. We forget that we are more alike then different in many of
    the minority cultures such as Native Americans. I will use this book with the Native mid schoolers I work with.

    • I think it’s an excellent book to use students. It can do exactly what you write about in your comment–remind us that despite cultural differences, there are experiences that we have in common that can help us connect to and relate to each other.

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