Gary Soto

Books by This Author

Jesse

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: In this new edition of his first young adult novel, Gary Soto paints a moving portrait of seventeen-year-old Jesse, who has left his parents' home to live with his older brother. These Mexican American brothers hope junior college will help them escape their heritage of tedious physical labor. Their struggles are humorous, true to life, and deeply affecting. Young adults will sympathize with the brothers as they come to terms with what is possible for each of them in an imperfect world.

Living Up The Street

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 12-14

Product Description: A collection of short essays in which the author describes his experiences growing up as a Mexican-American in the Fresno, California — including life in the barrio, parochial school, attending church, and trying to fall out of love so he can join in a Little League baseball team.

Local News: Stories

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: In thirteen stories full of wit and energy, Gary Soto illuminates the ordinary lives of young people. Meet Angel, who would rather fork over twenty bucks than have photos of his naked body plastered all over school; Philip, who discovers he has a "mechanical mind," whatever that means; Estela, known as Stinger, who rules José's heart and the racquetball court; and many other kids, all of them with problems as big as only a preteen can make them.

Neighborhood Odes

By: Gary Soto
Illustrated by: David Diaz
Age Level: 9-12

"The Hispanic neighborhood in Soto's 21 poems is brought sharply into focus by the care with which he records images of everyday life: the music of an ice cream vendor's truck, the top of a refrigerator where old bread lies in plastic, dust released into the air when a boy strums a guitar…Diaz's woodcuts complement the poems perfectly: the silhouettes are fanciful and dynamic but do not draw attention from the words on the page." — Publishers Weekly

Nerdlandia

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 12-14
Wearing a calculator on his belt, Martin is a total Chicano nerd who is totally in love with Ceci, the coolest chola in school. Ceci, in turn, has developed her own secret crush on this geeky muchacho. Helped by their bumbling but well-meaning friends, both Martin and Ceci transform themselves in the name of love, with Martin becoming cool just as Ceci becomes a nerdish beauty. There's lots of hip dialogue and plenty of playing up to the audience, so teenagers will have a ball with Soto's Chicano version of Grease, updated and set in Fresno, California.

Novio Boy: A Play

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 12-14

Product Description: Ninth grader Rudy has a date with eleventh grader Patricia. Now he has to come up with the money, the poise, and the conversation to carry it off. This one-act play, by turns heartwarming and heart-wrenching, follows Rudy from his desperate search for guidance through the hilarious date itself — all the way to its happy conclusion.

Pacific Crossing

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: In Japan for the summer to practice the martial art of kempo, Lincoln Mendoza sometimes feels like little more than a brown boy in a white gi. Yet with the help of his Japanese brother, Mitsuo, Lincoln sees that people everywhere, whether friend or kempo opponent, share passions much like his own — for baseball, family traditions, and new friendships.

Partly Cloudy: Poems Of Love and Longing

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 12-14

Product Description: The fleeting emotions of teenagers, as changeable as the weather, ring true in these emotionally resonant poems. Narrators, both boys and girls, 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.

Petty Crimes

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 9-12

"In this sharply honed collection of stories, Mexican American children on the brink of adolescence are testing the waters, trying to find their place in a world ruled by gangs and "marked with graffiti, boom boxes, lean dogs behind fences…" Some characters (La Güera, a shoplifter, and Mario, a scam artist) are already on their way to becoming juvenile delinquents. Others have chosen a straighter path.

Snapshots from the Wedding

By: Gary Soto
Illustrated by: Stephanie Garcia
Age Level: 3-6

"Soto takes readers to a Mexican American nuptial, and young Maya, the flower girl, is the lens through which the action is seen…Created with Sculpy clay, acrylic paints, wood, ribbons, and flowers, the art is displayed in large boxes set against pages covered with lace. The doll-like members of the wedding are exaggerated just enough to be amusing; at times, just a body part or two are highlighted, as when Maya's feet are shown on top of her father's while they dance." — Booklist

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