Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida
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Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  1,005 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone's struggle.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Perfection Learning (first published 1996)
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Charles Martin
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
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
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Zack Lloyd
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
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...more
Linda Lipko
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...more
Aaron Cabrera
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...more
Bianca Ramirez
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.
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.
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
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...more
Blanca Aguilar
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...more
Kathryn Thomas
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,...more
Nallely Lemus
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
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...more
Casey Drennan
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...more
Ricky Guzman
Well i read the book Parrot in the oven Mi vida. This book was a bout this one boy who was in the age between thirteen and fourteen and name was Manny. many had a lot of problems growing up like The Garcia brother. The Garcia brothers were always bothering Manny Making fun of him Bullying him Ect. Manny thought that the only way for this bullying would stop is by joining a Gang. Manny did join a gang and he bullying stopped because of his new freind's. I liked this book and the way it was writen...more
I thought the stories and messages in the stories were very good, but this was just a poorly written book in my opinion. It won a National Book Award, so I'm not sure where the disconnect with me is. First, this book was written more like a memoir, which is fine, but I didn't see the point. Very few of the chapters actually connected with any of the other chapters, and so it felt like Manny wasn't really learning anything... it was just events in his life that really didn't lead to anything. The...more
Sophia Lin
Original Review Posted at Bookwyrming Thoughts

Note: Formatting is lost due to copy and paste.

Oh. Another required reading. Yay. After Dreamland's disaster, I was going to call it quits here and go hide in a cubicle for awhile. Not that it's bad idea... but I'm pretty sure I would've failed high school already with that many absences (so not happening).

Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida is about a fourteen-year-old boy named Manny who lives with his abusive father and just wants to fit in with the oth...more
"Parrot in the Oven" by Victor Martinez is an emotional story that sets out to portray life in the Barrio. In the story, fourteen-year-old Manny Hernandez is struggling in life to become someone. As hard as he tries it's hard for him because he has to live with an alcoholic father, worried mother, annoying sister and his older brother who can't seem to get a job. In Manny's neighborhood you can't be a good kid like Manny. You have to be in a gang to be known.

Manny has to experience many stressf...more
Grade/interest level: Middle school (7th-8th)
Reading level: Fountas and Pinell, Z
Lexile: 1000
Genre: Contemporary fiction

Main characters: Manny Hernandez, Nardo Hernandez, Magda Hernandez, Pedi Hernandez
Setting: The projects, Manny’s school, Manny’s grandma’s house
POV: First person, Manny

Parrot in the Oven tells of the struggles of a young Chicano boy growing up in the project who has to face a whole slew of adversities. His father is a drunk and his brother cannot keep a job therefore his whole...more
Parrot in the Oven: by Victor Martinez
Date Finished: August 2009

Snapshot: Manny, a young Latino boy from Fresno, is faced with some major decisions such as whether or not to join a gang. His family is poor, his father is abusive, and he is not optimistic about his future with regard to education. He decides to join a gang because he will get to kiss a girl upon initiation. At the end of the book, Manny decides to leave the gang when he sees that his new “friends” take advantage of innocent, unsu...more
I was walking around the teen section in The Glendale Public Library when all of the sudden the Librarian showed me this book and recommended me to read it. At first when I saw the title, I thought it was going to be about a parrot in the oven so I decided not to check it out. Two days later I saw my friend with the exact same book, I went back to the library to check it out and to my amazement I loved it.
This book talks about the life of Manny Hernandez who lives a tough life. Manny is jobless...more
Bibliographic Citation
Martinez, V. (1996). Parrot in the oven mi vida. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. 216pp. ISBN 10: 0060267046.
Martinez's novel explores the social hardships of Mexican-Americans in California. He addresses the struggles of alcoholism, teen pregnancy, gang violence and racial discrimination through the eyes of the protagonist Manuel Hernandez. The story follows Manuel through various scenes: picking up his drunken father at a pool hall, death of his grandmother...more
Parrot in the Oven tells the story of a teenage boy, Manny, growing up in a poor Mexican American family struggling to get by, trying to find his identify and attempting to navigate a world where the odds seem stacked against him. His father is an abusive alcoholic, his oldest brother is irresponsible and parties all the time, his sister sneaks out with a boyfriend her family forbids her to see, and his mother seems helpless, unsure of what to do about all their problems, but desperately tries t...more
Ehhhh it was an okay story.

Alright, so this was really my expression throughout the book:

The only part that really got to me was when Manny's Dad put Magda in the bathtub when she was recovering. Because, for all of his carelessness, it showed me he really cared for his daughter. Or, well, cared enough to get off his lazy gladius maximus and get a job. That made me choke on my toast. Because, I kid you not, I almost had tears in my eyes. Almost.
And yes, I realize how insignificant his getting a...more
Cindy Rodriguez
Martinez's novel is written as a series of related vignettes, rather than in a traditional narrative arc, and his talent as a poet often shines through. Here's an example:

"When I neared the pharmacy, the sun was knifing a big blue hand through the ghosts of fog, sweeping them away like cobwebs. The maple trees on that street were dreary and weeping moisture, their stripped bark dusted with a glassy talcum of mist. But that, too, was melting. And when the wind came, little sneezes of drizzle spra...more
Akhil Kamboj
Parrot in the Oven,

I think that this book was really interesting, good, and a bit funny and that every one should try because i don't really read books, but when i had no choice i picked this book and started to read it and after the first two or three pages i was liking the book. This book had been the first real book that i have ever read other that "Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets." In this book it talks about a lot of the bad things that happens in his life and a lo...more
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Class of 2015: Parrot in the Oven Mi Vida 1 2 Mar 25, 2014 08:03PM  
i really like this book 1 9 Apr 02, 2008 02:13PM  
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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
More about Victor Martinez...
Parrot in the Oven: mi vida The Sunless Soul Caring for a House Agrégat de face: Un livre "d'attaque" qui "écale la langue". La leçon de Celan est retenue, sert de point de veille. Victor Martinez avance à grands pas, de manière toute personnelle. Andre Du Bouchet: Poesie, Langue, Evenement

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