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Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,298 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand-dollar person or a hundred-dollar person – even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were pennies.

Fourteen-year old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But that's not easy w
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Rayo (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,270)
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Oct 26, 2014 Jess rated it liked it
I will be teaching this novel to 8th grade struggling readers this year, on the recommendation of a teacher friend of mine.

At first, I was less than impressed. Now that I think about it though, that might be because I have been living in dystopian YA fiction for awhile and am used to starting a book with a dramatic event (like a choosing). But as the story progressed, I found I liked the main character more and more, and I found that the rhythm of his life is much like the students I teach. When
Charles Martin
Jan 25, 2011 Charles Martin rated it really liked it
Winner of the 1996 National Book Award for Young People's Fiction, "Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida" is less a sweeping traditional novel and more a series of short character sketches. The poetic style, though beautiful and intriguing, leaves the reader feeling confused and disjointed, though this may be the point. Living in a poor Mexican-American project in California, Manny Hernandez attempts to navigate the minefield that is his life -- just as the reader attempts to navigate the short vignettes ...more
Abdullah Yousaf
Oct 09, 2011 Abdullah Yousaf rated it really liked it
Parrot in the Oven a novel written by Victor Martinez, talks about the life of Manny Hernandez who lives a tough life. Manny has a jobless and drunk father. An older brother named Nardo who who never could find the right job for himself. A mother who cared about him and wanted father to find a job. An older sister named Magda and a younger one named Pedi. Then there are some other characters such as the Garcia brothers, grandma and Frankie. This story's main setting took place in the projects wh ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Adriana rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So after I sort of metaphorically kicked Stiefvater's butt again with a negative review, I have to share another negative review with you. I've read some reviews where the question is asked, "Why did this stupid book get the National Book Award?" and to me the answer was easy.

If you look at the year it was published, the fact the setting is in California, and you take into account the racial tensions that occurred at many high schools there during that time period, the love people felt for this
Zack Lloyd
Oct 09, 2011 Zack Lloyd rated it liked it
In the book Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez, Manny the main character, lives a hard life. All Manny wants is some respect, and where he lives it is not all that easy. Manny considers joining the Vato Firme a local gang that he's introduced to. But he's not sure if thats the best idea. Manny knows joining the gang could bring trouble.
There are many important characters in this book starting with Mann's mom. Who does not have a job and is constantly working around her house. Next, there is
May 06, 2013 Veronica rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2007 LARRY rated it it was ok
Shelves: ficcion, literature
As posted in []:

I'm sorry but I really do not see what was special in Martinez' *Parrot in the Oven* that reaped him some awards. I did not see anything special about the story. However, I do agree that Martinez does have a way with words. They were eye-catching and made you wonder.

*Parrot in the Oven* is divided into chapters that each one focuses on one particular topic. While there is a subtle storyline throughout, the overall picture is blurred. There's that "missing li
Oct 14, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it
One of my graduate school professors thought that my students would really like this story, and that they would be able to connect to it as a result of the Latino main character. The teenage male protagonist is engaging, and this novel depicts his "coming of age" struggles (to which many of my students could connect).

Some of my Latino students did not like Parrot in the Oven, however, because they felt that it only told the "typical South of the Border story" in which immigrants cross the Mexica
Linda Lipko
Mar 05, 2013 Linda Lipko rated it did not like it
It is difficult to believe that this is a winner of the National Book Award and the Horn Book Fanfare Honor list.

Dealing with the very difficult subject of abuse, alcoholism, neglect, poverty and the hardship of the Mexican American culture is a lot of material to cover.

While the writing is good, the plot is missing. The storyline skips around like a rabbit jumping on hot pavement.

Fourteen year old Manuel has a story to tell. He is very weary of a mother who is passive, a father who is physicall
Drew Baldwin
Feb 10, 2015 Drew Baldwin rated it it was amazing
This book is a great book. It about the this boy who wants to be more then his father and brothers. His father is a drunk and gambles all there money away his brother can't keep a job. His mom is the strongest person in this book she keeps the family together and keep the house clean. The part I hated the most about this book was when he watch his father try to kill his mother. I strongly recommend this book to any one that like book about a kid and his dreams.
Garrett Kvatek
Mar 27, 2015 Garrett Kvatek rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aaron Cabrera
Apr 25, 2014 Aaron Cabrera rated it it was amazing
If you like a good mistery book. The name of the book is "Parrot In The Oven Mi Vida" the book was by Victor Martinez. This book follows a life of a boy who gets in some trouble with his brother and friends.

The theme of book is to trust your friends. There is a point in time where you have to get in trouble just like this kid in the book and get in trouble with your brother or sister. This shows that they were normal kids like us at some point in their lives.

The main character has a older broth
Jan 23, 2016 Mary rated it it was ok
What started out as an interesting look at a Latin American community in southern California ultimately fell flat at the end.
The story, told through the eyes of teenager Manny Hernandez, is a series of vignettes about the people and life of a poor Latin American family living in the projects and are generally quite interesting. Manny's life is far from perfect, and so some of choices he makes are understandable... to a point. Much of the book feels like 1 step forward, 2 steps back, with Manny t
Bianca Ramirez
Oct 22, 2008 Bianca Ramirez rated it really liked it
This book was kind of intersting.It as abaut Manny's (the main character) life. He wanted to be someone in life. His dad always told him that he was worth a penny. He wanted to prove his dad wrong. His dad had lost his job and he drank alot. Manny was from a mexican family and I am too.This book had things that I did not expected.The reading wasn't so hard you shoul check it out.
Jan 04, 2016 Elise rated it liked it
This was another book that one of my students picked out to read so I read it too. I liked it, but it definitely wasn't as advertised. I would say that it reminded me of House on Mango Street but with a male character. If you are looking for books with a minority character as a lead character, this is a good choice. I appreciate the title, once you get there you will too.

The story is about a young Latino man, Manuel, and his year growing up with a sister who sneaks out, a brother who sneaks in d
Jan 16, 2015 Eddie rated it liked it
I loved this book. I read Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez I had to read it for a grade in our English class. The book is about fourteen years old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He thinks if he was a person who gets respect. And the only way you would get respect is if you were in a gang and Manny didn’t want to risk his life in a gang.

My favorite character was Manny because Manny is a kid that likes do things to get things. This book is about how Manny wanted a basebal
Dec 02, 2010 Joceline rated it liked it
I liked this book because it was interesting. I like it because it talks about a boy who has choices to make in his life by being a follower in which is by getting jumped in, in a gang or by not being a follower just him.
Richard Knight
Kind of bland, and it doesn't really go anywhere as there's no real narrative. But it's interesting enough and it kept my attention, so that's saying something.
Mar 02, 2015 16olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine your life being written for you, people making assumptions about what you are going to be. Imagine living in a family where you are not heard. This is what 14 year old Manny Hernandez has to go through.
The book I read is called Parrot in the Oven (Mi Vida), written by Victor Martinez.The genre of my multicultural book is a Novel, Multicultural, Mexican-American. Manny Hernandez Lives in project of Fresno County, California.The main character is a 14 year old boy named Manny Hernandez. H
Imagine not being able to afford a car or bus. Imagine living in a house with your alcoholic father. Imagine joining a gang. A parrot in the oven by Victor Martinez is called parrot in the oven because the main character, Manuel's father sometimes calls him Perico. It is from a mexican saying about someone who complains about how hot it is outside. It is a fictional story that could easily happen in reality. It is set in a poor dangerous area in the projects. The main character, Manuel Hernandez ...more
Allan Su
Feb 26, 2015 Allan Su rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Hoyer
Literature Requirement: **1998 Belpre Author Award Winner**

This book was actually a very interesting read. I felt as though I was reading a collection of short stories that just all happened to be about the same characters. It was like reading 11 different snapshots out of the lives of the Hernandez family. Manny is definitely a character with which many people can identify, and his siblings and parents also go through things that are not uncommon to many potential readers.

There was progression
In the book “Parrot in the Oven” by Victor Martinez the theme of the book is teens growing up. Manny is a teen who lives at home with his parents and siblings in Fresno, California. Manny’s family lives in poverty because his dad and older brother don’t have jobs. Manny’s older sister, Magna is the only one who makes money and feeds everybody in the family. The conflicts rise at the home because of not having money and there is a fight between Manny’s parents. As a teenager Manny has a hard time ...more
Jul 02, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Martinez' story read to me like a series of vignettes. Each chapter added to the collective of a narrative. Yet, the chapters were used more to build a context of Manny's life, rather than develop concrete moments that follow a traditional trajectory of story telling. There did not seem to be those crucial decision making moments that would inevitably change the course of Manny's life. Instead, Manny seemed more like a lost kid stumbling into problems that he just as clumsy stumbles away from. A ...more
Blanca Aguilar
Jun 01, 2012 Blanca Aguilar rated it really liked it
I read a book called "Parrot in the Oven Mi Vida" By Victor Martinez. At first I thought it was going to be boring by just looking at the cover but at the end the book was alright. The part that I really liked was when the boys dad went to jail. I believe that he deserved to go to jail because he was going to kill his wife and he treats his children badly. The part that I disliked was when Manny almost shot his little sister with the rifle I thought that was scary.

The Book was about a boy named
Kathryn Thomas
Oct 10, 2011 Kathryn Thomas rated it really liked it
During the summer, sitting in my chair, i read the book Parrot in the Oven: Mi vida. I consider this books genre realistic fiction because its not a true story but every even during the book could happen in real life.

The book takes place in the projects where Manny Hernandez and his family lives. Manny is the main character. Manny sends most of the book trying to fit in the gang groups who also live in the projects. Manny lives in a home with his two sister Magda and Pedi, his brother Bernardo,
Nallely Lemus
Oct 10, 2011 Nallely Lemus rated it it was amazing
The book parrot in the oven is a very interesting book about earning respect. The book is told by a young teenage boy named Manny Herandez. Throughout the book he has many moments when he tries to earn respect by working, fighting, and getting involved with gangs. He decides to start off working by picking chilies because he wants to buy a baseball glove, but then he stops working because something crazy happens. Manny gets in a fight through the book for a very dumb reason. Manny thinks by gett ...more
Maria Romero
Oct 10, 2011 Maria Romero rated it really liked it
I read parrot in the oven and i thought it was a good book. The main characters were Manny, Magda, and Nardo. Manny is a 14 year old boy that struggles through his life because of his father that is alcoholic. Nardo is Manny's older brother who cant find a job because he usally gets fired from every job he gets. Magda is the oldest child in the family Manny's older sister who gives abortion.

Manny's dad turns out to be alcoholic because he gets fired from his job. He can't find a job either. By
Casey Drennan
Jun 01, 2012 Casey Drennan rated it really liked it
I just finished reading "Parrot in the Oven" By Victor Martinez last summer. I wasn't sure how I felt about the book when I started reading it. It was a good book but had a little bit of bad language. But other than that the book was pretty good with the story line. I would recommend this book to those who like books about about a boy who joins a gang.
The characters in the book are all different in their own way and I'm going to talk about the Hernandez family. the main character of the book is
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Class of 2015: Parrot in the Oven Mi Vida 1 2 Mar 25, 2014 08:03PM  
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Victor Martinez was born and raised in Fresno, California, the fourth in a family of twelve children. He attended California State University at Fresno and Stanford University, and has worked as a field laborer, welder, truck driver, firefighter, teacher, and office clerk.

His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies. Mr. Martinez was awarded the 1996 National Boo
More about Victor Martinez...

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