Genaro Gonzalez A So-Called Vacation

ISBN 13: 9781558855458

A So-Called Vacation

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9781558855458: A So-Called Vacation
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Brothers Gabriel and Gustavo, high school students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, are horrified when their father suggests that they spend the summer in California doing field work to earn extra money. They're not immigrants; the boys and their younger sister Paula were born in Texas, and the idea of picking fruits and vegetables hard labor usually associated with undocumented workers is totally humiliating.
But their father thinks working in the fields will be good for his children. After all, the experience didn't hurt him when he was a kid. ''Look at me. I didn't die. All that work made me stronger.'' Gustavo, heading into his senior year, doesn't want to leave his girlfriend. And what will all his friends think? Gabriel doesn't care what anyone thinks; he's just not interested in spending the summer doing back-breaking labor. It's only when the promise of visiting Disneyland, after working the fields, is offered that they ultimately agree to the ''vacation.''
Before long, the family finds itself in a migrant camp, living in a shack with no electricity or bathroom. Toiling in the fields by day, trying to get the hang of picking strawberries, the boys and their father attempt to make sense of it all, including the motives and hopes of their fellow workers: the manic Borrado brothers, who are the fastest pickers around, and Victor, who introduces them to the canal where the migrant teens swim, even though two boys drowned there last season.
Unfortunately, while learning their way around town, the family members experience the racism frequently directed at recent immigrants. How often, Gabriel wonders, has he done the same thing and dismissed someone just for being in the U.S. illegally?
In this illuminating novel for teens that sheds light on the subjects of immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community, Genaro Gonzalez blends the ageless theme of fathers and sons at odds with a contemporary issue weighing on many minds. While set in a place unfamiliar to many, the characters' hopes and dreams for the future will resonate with young adult readers.

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About the Author:

GENARO GONZALEZ is the author of a short-story collection, Only Sons (Arte Publico Press, 1991), and two novels, The Quixote Cult (Arte Publico Press, 1998) and Rainbow's End (Arte Publico Press, 1988), which was selected as a Los Angeles Times Book Review ''Critics' Choice.'' He currently teaches psychology at the University of Texas - Pan American in Edinburg.

Review:

In a Chicano neighborhood in Texas, teenage Gabriel cannot believe that his dad wants the family to spend the summer doing fieldwork in California to earn extra money. The Gustavos are Americans, born in the US, unlike most migrant workers, Gabriel thinks. At first, Gabriel sees himself as a tourist slumming in the camps, but he gradually accepts that he is part of the “ sad squalor, ” as he does exhausting piece labor for low pay and lives in a crowded shack without electricity or plumbing. There is sometimes too much repetitive detail about the characters and their conflicts and not enough specifics about the realities of their work. But this breakthrough novel offers a realistic view of the contemporary migrant scene, along with complex truths about race and class. Gabriel and his brother are kicked out of the town swimming pool, and they know it is because of their brown color. Yet they are prejudiced too, fearful of the stigma of being labeled illegal. The personal stories will lead to discussion of the big issues.
Hazel Rochman --Booklist

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Book Description Pinata Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Brothers Gabriel and Gustavo, high school students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, are horrified when their father suggests that they spend the summer in California doing field work to earn extra money. They re not immigrants; the boys and their younger sister Paula were born in Texas, and the idea of picking fruits and vegetables--hard labor usually associated with undocumented workers--is totally humiliating. But their father thinks working in the fields will be good for his children. After all, the experience didn t hurt him when he was a kid. Look at me. I didn t die. All that work made me stronger. Gustavo, heading into his senior year, doesn t want to leave his girlfriend. And what will all his friends think? Gabriel doesn t care what anyone thinks; he s just not interested in spending the summer doing back-breaking labor. It s only when the promise of visiting Disneyland, after working the fields, is offered that they ultimately agree to the vacation. Before long the family finds itself in a migrant camp, living in a shack with no electricity or bathroom. Toiling in the fields by day, trying to get the hang of picking strawberries, the boys and their father attempt to make sense of it all, including the motives and hopes of their fellow workers: the manic Borrado brothers, who are the fastest pickers around, and Victor, who introduces them to the canal where the migrant teens swim, even though two boys drowned there last season. Unfortunately, while learning their way around town, the family members experience the racism frequently directed at recent immigrants. How often, Gabriel wonders, has he done the same thing and dismissed someone just for being in the U.S.illegally? In this illuminating novel for teens that sheds light on the subjects of immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community, Genaro Gonzalez blends the ageless theme of fathers and sons at odds with a contemporary issue weighing on many minds. While set in a place unfamiliar to many, the characters hopes and dreams for the future will resonate with young adult readers. Seller Inventory # AAS9781558855458

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Book Description Pinata Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Brothers Gabriel and Gustavo, high school students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, are horrified when their father suggests that they spend the summer in California doing field work to earn extra money. They re not immigrants; the boys and their younger sister Paula were born in Texas, and the idea of picking fruits and vegetables--hard labor usually associated with undocumented workers--is totally humiliating. But their father thinks working in the fields will be good for his children. After all, the experience didn t hurt him when he was a kid. Look at me. I didn t die. All that work made me stronger. Gustavo, heading into his senior year, doesn t want to leave his girlfriend. And what will all his friends think? Gabriel doesn t care what anyone thinks; he s just not interested in spending the summer doing back-breaking labor. It s only when the promise of visiting Disneyland, after working the fields, is offered that they ultimately agree to the vacation. Before long the family finds itself in a migrant camp, living in a shack with no electricity or bathroom. Toiling in the fields by day, trying to get the hang of picking strawberries, the boys and their father attempt to make sense of it all, including the motives and hopes of their fellow workers: the manic Borrado brothers, who are the fastest pickers around, and Victor, who introduces them to the canal where the migrant teens swim, even though two boys drowned there last season. Unfortunately, while learning their way around town, the family members experience the racism frequently directed at recent immigrants. How often, Gabriel wonders, has he done the same thing and dismissed someone just for being in the U.S.illegally? In this illuminating novel for teens that sheds light on the subjects of immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community, Genaro Gonzalez blends the ageless theme of fathers and sons at odds with a contemporary issue weighing on many minds. While set in a place unfamiliar to many, the characters hopes and dreams for the future will resonate with young adult readers. Seller Inventory # AAS9781558855458

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