Wednesday, July 25, 2018

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems

By David Bowles

  •                 Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  •             Grade Level: 6 - 8
  •             Hardcover: 160 pages
  •             Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (September 4, 2018)
  •             Language: English
  •             ISBN-10: 1947627066
  •             ISBN-13: 978-1947627062

Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He's starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. 

In Spanish, "Güero" is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd--reader, gamer, musician--who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails. 

But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope. 

He writes poetry.


"Snapchat, texting, woke teachers, K-pop/hip-hop, hybrid cars, and border troubles tie this story to today's times, but the rich characters who fill Güero's family, school, and neighborhood--Uncle Joe, Abuela Mimi, Joanna la Fregona, the three Bobbys, Bisabuela Luisa, and a dozen more--are the beating heart of this masterful novel-in-poems rooted in generations of culture, geography, and story." 

--Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong, creators of The Poetry Friday Anthology series

"I love this book!" --Margarita Engle, 2017-2019 National Young People's Poet Laureate

DAVID BOWLES is a native of the South Texas borderlands, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He's the author of Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico. His middle-grade fantasy The Smoking Mirror was a 2016 Pura Belpré Honor Book. He is also one of Adam Gidwitz' collaborators on The Unicorn Rescue Society series.

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