Our Next Good Read. . .La Línea

Thank you so much to the wonderful group of teachers who joined us for book group last night! Talking with you all is always one of my favorite parts of the month!

We hope to see you all for our next meeting on October 6th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss October’s featured novel (if we’re not at Bookworks, check next door at Flying Star, we often end up there for coffee and snacks).  La Linea by Ann Jaramillo

We are reading La Línea (Age 10 and Up) by Ann Jaramillo.

Here’s a sneak peek into the book: (from Goodreads)

Miguel’s life is just beginning. Or so he thinks. Fifteen-year-old Miguel leaves his rancho deep in Mexico to migrate to California across la linea, the border, in a debut novel of life-changing, cliff-hanging moments.

But Miguel’s carefully laid plans change suddenly when his younger sister Elena stows away and follows him. Together, Miguel and Elena endure hardships and danger on their journey of desperation and desire, loyalty and betrayal. An epilogue, set ten years after the events of the story, shows that you can’t always count on dreams–even the ones that come true. Continue reading


Book Review: Marcelo in the Real World

marcelo imageMarcelo in the Real World
Written by Francisco X. Stork
Published by Scholastic Books, 2009
Age Level: Ages 14 and up

Description (From GoodReads):

Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.

He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file — a picture of a girl with half a face — that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

 Reminiscent of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” in the intensity and purity of its voice, this extraordinary novel is a love story, a legal drama, and a celebration of the music each of us hears inside.

My thoughts:

Marcelo has become one of my favorite protagonists.  He is very different from many of the main characters in other books we’ve read here at Vamos a Leer.  Marcelo is a seventeen year old on the autism spectrum.  He says of himself, “. . .the closest description of my condition is Asperger’s syndrome. . .” (p. 55).  How often are we given a book that provides our students any insight into what it might be like to experience the world with autism or Asperger’s syndrome?  This alone makes it a significant book.  Continue reading