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Los Angeles is a place of movie stars and fast cars and people who are too rich and people who are too poor. An area of freeway chases and drive-bys and death. But there's another L.A., one where warmth and humor and humanity pervade. Where a tacqueria sign declares: "One cause, one people, one taco."
This L.A. is a place where random acts of generosity and goodwill improve the lives of the community. Any Small Goodness is a novel filled with hope, love, and warmth.
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TONY JOHNSTON is the award-winning author of more than seventy beloved children's books, including Ten Fat Turkeys. She lives in San Marino, where she grew up.From Booklist:
Gr. 4-7, younger for reading aloud. In her first novel, popular picture-book author Johnston tells a warm, upbeat story of a Mexican family newly arrived in Los Angeles. The narrator is Arturo Rodriguez, 11, whose present-tense account is filled with Spanish expressions and the physical details of daily life at home, at school, and in the barrio. The first chapter will touch many immigrant kids: the children are tempted to assimilate after their teacher anglicizes their names, but Arturo's abuelita persuades them to hold on to who they are and take their names back. At times Johnston overdoes the local color with too many similes, and some characters are sentimentalized (not that anyone will object to the "angel" librarian). There's a scary gang and a drive-by shooting, but order is restored and the climax is the family celebration of navidad, "warm and sweet and silly, glowing in the candlelight." The small size of the book is inviting, with clear, spacious type and a small illustration at the head of each chapter. Hazel Rochman
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