Monday, July 16, 2012

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

In Under the Mesquite, Guadalupe Garcia McCall uses verse to tell a coming of age story from the point of view of Lupita, the eldest of eight siblings in a Mexican indigenous family living on the American side of the border. As a result of their mother's serious illness, Lupita must step in to take charge of the rest even though she is still in high school. McCall's lyrical style is both gentle and moving.

"In the squint of morning / before anyone else is awake, / when the roaring sounds / of unbridled verses / rush furiously through my head, / the mesquite is my confidant."

Readalikes: Seeing Emily (Joyce Lee Wong) and Make Lemonade (Virginia Euwer Wolff) are other coming of age stories told in verse.

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