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The Boys of San Joaquin
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The Boys of San Joaquin (Paolo #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Paolo calls Rufus "a Mack truck with no one driving." Rufus is the O'Neil family dog, and he shows up one morning with part of a twenty-dollar bill in his teeth.

Twelve-year-old Paolo figures that there must be more where that bill came from, and since his cousin Billy needs to repair a bent wheel on his bike, there's a reason for looking. Soon Paolo, his brother Georgie,
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published February 1st 2005)
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Nancy H
If it were possible to give a book 6 stars, this one would get that manny. This book is so well-written that I am ready to re-read it, and I just finished it yesterday! I love the charming style, and I especially love the right-on-target comments that the author makes through the voice of 12-year-old Paolo. Paolo is a character that I would love to meet - the quintessential not-quite-a-teen, still mostly snips-and-snails-and-puppy dog tails, 1950's, all boy. Paolo's dog Rufus comes home one day ...more
P.d.r. Lindsay
Small town California in 1951 is the setting for this children's novel, a world where Mums stay home and father's word is law, where girls get married as soon as they leave school, and church is still the centre of the community. Written with a strong eye to the 'get-the-boys-reading' movement, hero Paulo, is 12, a very active young man, and he doesn't like girls. Paulo, and his deaf cousin, Billy, are treasure hunting. The church collection money has disappeared and they'd like to find it. An a ...more
Sharon Bookwalter
May 15, 2010 Sharon Bookwalter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 9-13 year olds
Recommended to Sharon by: Amazon
It baffles me that this book isn't more widely read in classrooms. I've used it for two years now in a 6th grade reading program with readers ranging from 2.2 to 12.9+. I've read it aloud, mostly one chapter a day until the the last three chapters, which I read in one period. The kids are eager to hear each day's installment and clamor for more. I've read it aloud 5 times a day for several weeks in the spring two years in a row. Each reading with each class has brought excited responses from the ...more
Fascinating -- reader gets drawn fully into the rich life of a 12-year-old boy in 1951 small-down California. He's one of 10 kids, with neighbors, relatives, friends and pets, all of whom we come to know and care for.

Comic, poetic, The Boys of San Joaquin's plot flows quietly at times behind the many vignettes. In the last chapters, however, it roars to prominence, revealing the hidden connections between events.

Having put the book down, I am left remembering the voice of the main character, P
Tyreek Jones
May 01, 2008 Tyreek Jones is currently reading it
I give this book a three because I just started reading this book, but it is intersting so far.
lola Franco
a good story, but not as good as other kid's fiction i've read recently.
The monsignor's money is missing. The boys of San Joaquin search it out.
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A recipient of an NEA fellowship in poetry and the Edgar Allan Poe Award in fiction, D. James Smith’s poems and stories have appeared recently in The Malahat Review, New Millennium Writings & The Notre Dame Review. His books include the novel My Brother’s Passion (Permanent Press, 2004) and two collections of poems, The Dead Ventriloquist (Ahsahta Press, 1995) and Sounds The Living Make (S. F ...more
More about D. James Smith...
Probably the World's Best Story About a Dog and the Girl Who Loved Me It Was September When We Ran Away the First Time My Brother's Passion Fast Company Prayers for the Dead Ventriloquist

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