Laura's Reviews > Pacific Crossing

Pacific Crossing by Gary Soto
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's review
Mar 11, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: modern-realistic, young-adult
Read from March 04 to 11, 2011

After I began reading Pacific Crossing, I read a few reviews of the book. It appears to be popular with the teens but not so popular with adults. By the end of the book, I rather liked it.

It's a different kind of book. You can't use it to teach plot structure but it would be great for chronological order. It's the story of a boy's summer vacation in Japan. There're no real problems to be confronted or anything. There're no antagonists. No one is a hero; no one is a victim. It's just life. I found it charming.

The character doesn't grow much except in ways that I'd expect a young man to grow after experiencing a new culture. I think a lot of my students, especially those interested in Japan or Hispanics, would identify with Lincoln Mendoza.

It's a very multicultural book. Lincoln is growing up in a Hispanic neighborhood in San Francisco. He visits rural Japan--not exotic Tokyo (although he does visit Tokyo briefly). In Japan, he is immersed in gardening and kenpo, a martial art he was studying in San Francisco.

At the end of the book are two dictionaries. One contains Spanish words and vocabulary; the other contains a list of Japanese words and vocabulary. I can see my students learning new words and phrases and driving me crazy with their newfound knowledge.
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