Ellen's Reviews > Downtown Boy

Downtown Boy by Juan Felipe Herrera
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's review
Aug 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: california, parent-child
Read from August 16 to 26, 2010

What the reader gets in Downtown Boy is a darker look at Herrera's childhood. His mami, Lucha, wants to settle down so that Juanito can go to school but his father, Felipe, can't seem to stop wandering. Lucha and Juanito live first in San Francisco, then move to San Diego when Juanito's father comes home for a while. Lucha can't work because of her dizzy spells, so she and her son depend on the Well-fair. And Juanito can't stay in one school long enough to perform in assembly or see his artwork hung on the walls of his classroom.

Downtown Boy is a story told in verse and the author captures Juanito's longings and imagination with vivid imagery.

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