Under the Mesquite

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9781600604294: Under the Mesquite

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother's battle with cancer in this young adult novel in verse.

When Lupita learns Mami has cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit family. Suddenly, being a high school student, starring in a play, and dealing with friends who don't always understand, become less important than doing whatever she can to save Mami's life.

While her father cares for Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she takes refuge in the shade of a mesquite tree, where she escapes the chaos at home to write. Forced to face her limitations in the midst of overwhelming changes and losses, Lupita rediscovers her voice and finds healing in the power of words.

Told with honest emotion in evocative free verse, Lupita's journey toward hope is captured in moments that are alternately warm and poignant. Under the Mesquite is an empowering story about testing family bonds and the strength of a young woman navigating pain and hardship with surprising resilience.

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About the Author:

Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a young girl, keeping close ties with family on both sides of the border. Her poems for adults have appeared in more than a dozen literary journals. She lives near San Antonio, Texas.

Review:

A resilient Mexican-American girl copes with familial obligation and loss in this free-verse novel. Drawing from her own teen years for inspiration, McCall highlights life in the borderlands: 'En los Estados Unidos / I trained my tongue / and twisted syllables / to form words / that sounded hollow, / like the rain at midnight / dripping into tin pails / through the thatched roof / of our abuelita's house.' Lupita's first-person tale captures pivotal moments of her high-school years in the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, with glimpses back at her first six years in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. During her freshman year, Lupita discovers that her mother has cancer. While her mother fights the disease and her father struggles to support the family financially, Lupita sometimes becomes the de facto parental unit for her seven younger siblings. As she worries about food and money, Lupita experiences the typical troubles and triumphs of a teenage girl; her drama teacher, Mr. Cortez, helps her find an outlet for her talent and her pain. Meanwhile, family members continue to draw strength and support from each other on both sides of the border. With poignant imagery and well-placed Spanish, the author effectively captures the complex lives of teenagers in many Latino and/or immigrant families. A promising, deeply felt debut. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Told in verse sprinkled with Spanish terms (a glossary is included), this story of Lupita s high-school years details her increasing responsibility within her large Mexican American family after Mami is diagnosed with cancer. Caring for seven younger siblings, keeping up with schoolwork and her drama roles, and staying connected with her classmates and friends while the worries gnaw at her take their toll, but she is strong. There are also moments of intense vulnerability. As high-school graduation nears, Lupita sees that her mother may not be there for it: Suddenly I realize / how much I can t control, how much / I am not promised. The close-knit family relationships, especially Mami and Lupita s, are vividly portrayed, as is the healing comfort Lupita finds in words, whether written in her notebooks or performed onstage. --Booklist

I could go on and on about how gorgeous Ms Garcia McCall s writing is and how she seamlessly flits between Spanish and English words and explores two completely different cultures and the issues that come with being uprooted and how perfectly she captures and portrays the emotions that come hand-in-hand with illness in a close, loving family and pain and sadness and hope and about growing up and letting go and looking to the future without forgetting the past and the journey you must go on and maternal love and.... and.... and..... You know what? Just read it and I promise you won t be disappointed. --Wear the Old Coat

A resilient Mexican-American girl copes with familial obligation and loss in this free-verse novel.

Drawing from her own teen years for inspiration, McCall highlights life in the borderlands: En los Estados Unidos / I trained my tongue / and twisted syllables / to form words / that sounded hollow, / like the rain at midnight / dripping into tin pails / through the thatched roof / of our abuelita s house. Lupita s first-person tale captures pivotal moments of her high-school years in the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, with glimpses back at her first six years in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. During her freshman year, Lupita discovers that her mother has cancer. While her mother fights the disease and her father struggles to support the family financially, Lupita sometimes becomes the de facto parental unit for her seven younger siblings. As she worries about food and money, Lupita experiences the typical troubles and triumphs of a teenage girl; her drama teacher, Mr. Cortez, helps her find an outlet for her talent and her pain. Meanwhile, family members continue to draw strength and support from each other on both sides of the border. With poignant imagery and well-placed Spanish, the author effectively captures the complex lives of teenagers in many Latino and/or immigrant families.

A promising, deeply felt debut. --Kirkus Reviews

This stunning debut novel in verse chronicles the teenage years of Lupita, a character drawn largely from the author s own childhood...The simplicity of the story line belies the deep richness of McCall s writing. Lupita, a budding actress and poet, describes the new English words she learned as a child to be like lemon drops, tart and sweet at the same time and ears of corn as sweating butter and painted with chili-powdered lime juice. Each phrase captures the essence of a moment or the depth of her pain. The power of Lupita s story lies also in the authenticity of her struggles both large and small, from dealing with her mother s illness to arguments with friends about acculturation. This book will appeal to many teens for different reasons, whether they have dealt with the loss of a loved one, aspire to write and act, are growing up Mexican American, or seeking their own identity amid a large family. Bravo to McCall for a beautiful first effort. --School Library Journal

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Book Description Lee Low Books, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781600604294

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 225 pages. When Lupita discovers Mami has been diagnosed with cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of their close-knit Mexican American family. In the midst of juggling high school classes, finding her voice as an actress, and dealing with friends who dont always understand, Lupita desperately wants to support her mother by doing anything she can to help. While Papi is preoccupied with caring for Mami, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. Struggling in her new roles and overwhelmed by change, Lupita escapes the chaos of home by writing in the shade of a mesquite tree, seeking refuge in the healing power of words. Told in evocative free verse, Lupitas journey is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. Under the Mesquite is an empowering story about the testing of family bonds, the strength of a teenage girl navigating pain and hardship, and the kind of love that cannot be uprooted. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781600604294

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