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Finding Our Way

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  28 reviews
THESE STORIES TAKE the reader to meet mochos; cholos; Mr. and Mrs. Special; Manny with his mysterious phone calls; Melly, who dreams of being the first girl to take the Dive; Andy and Ruthie, who find that being "boyfriend-girlfriend" takes on new meaning the night of the prom; and Chuy, who seems determined to get kicked out of school. Each distinct voice shares secret th ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 11th 2003 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
As the collection picks up steam, there are some well written stories, but overall too few for me to recommend this book. While I liked the mix of Spanish and English (without the awkward translation--figure it out reader!); the strong narrative voice throughout; and the move towards more introspective, open-ended stories ("Manny Calls" and "The Dive" are the best), overall the collection strained credulity, while also curiously falling flat.

The biggest problem is not that the conflict in each s
Ron Burgundy
Jan 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Finding Our Way by René Salandra Jr. was not entertaining, nor did I learn anything of value. I was never on the edge of my seat at any point. This book is a collection of short stories. I believed there is around 8 short stories.

There are different characters in each story, and they all have different conflicts to overcome. Even though the characters were all very different, I could not relate to any of them or their situations.
For example, one is about a girl who wants to jump off a bridge int
May 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-class
This book was a collection of short stories about high school students, mostly Mexican-American or Mexican high school students living in America. My favorite story was probably the first one, "The Good Samaritan," about a boy whose neighbor is always trying to get the neighborhood boys to help him around the house by promising them different things, like that he'll let them use his new tv or swim in his new pool, but never ends up letting the boys do anything of the sort. I also liked the story ...more
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older adolescents and adults
Genre/Category: Multicultural/ Bildungsroman

A collection of short stories about Hispanic adolescents, Saldana’s Finding Our Way is an eye-opening reading experience that will leave you heartbroken, smiling, or wondering with each story. Although there is no logical sequence in the stories, nor any apparent connection between any of them, all of the stories center on themes of friendship, coming of age, and life as experienced by Hispanic Americans. It is a quick, entertaining read, but I found i
Emily Boyle
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, engl-420
This was a hard book to rate, considering it's made up of a bunch of short stories--some of which I loved, and some of which I didn't like as much.

The stories that I loved made me feel a lot of emotion, more than I usually feel when reading only a short story. After reading some of them, I just had to stop to reflect for a little bit. The characters were really real and vivid, and I felt like I understood some of the teenagers' irrational actions. I also really liked the mix of English and Span
Allison Morgan
Genre/Category: Rene Saldana Jr./Short stories

This book is a collection of short stories dealing with every-day teens issues. None of the stories connect, but I was surprised by the similar theme of forgiveness and hope found in a lot of the stories. Saldana brings up issues of betrayal, trust, finding one's voice, and many more pertinent teen issues. Each story is written from the eyes of a teenage boy with Spanish influences and culture. I think this collection of short stories would be a good
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: authors-i-met, ya
I just put down the book for the second time in my life and I'm happy to say that my thoughts on it have changed for the better. Being YA lit, something I hardly touch, this book shows that there are two versions of the Valley: The one in which we live in and the one we remember living in. René Saldaña, Jr. ventures into both. Leaving us nostalgic for our lost innocence, but appreciating the course of events that brought us here.

It's a joy to read for both adults and teens alike. Each powerful s
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Torey, Zena, Micaela, Laura
This is a pretty good book of short stories: the characters are relatable, and the stories are interesting.

I just wish that they were a little longer, so it didn't feel like they just ended. Also, I wish there was higher writing. It's a really easy book to read with a big font and not a lot of pages.


Although the book is short, and the font is big, it's not exactly an easy read. Like... the content is probably at a 8th grade level, and the word choice is probably at a 5th grade reading level.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: engl-420
Finding Our Way was not very good. It could have something to do with the fact that I don't really love short stories, but I don't think so. I can appreciate a good short story when I come across it.
Some of the stories were ok, but I didn't really enjoy any of them. I can't say that I learned much about the Latino experience or that any of them were beautifully written. Some of them you're not even sure what happened. You finish and you're like, what? If it ended and I was haunted or shocked or
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420
I enjoyed this book. I loved the thrown in tidbits Spanish, it made the story more real if that makes sense. Real in the essence that these stories were being told by los pueblos de América. The stories were interesting as well. They highlighted people who were trying to decide who they are and not in a existentialist way. They were in situations where they could make a a wrong choice, a good choice or a better choice. I think it takes a special talent to write good short stories, fitting in eno ...more
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420
Genre: YA, Short Stories, Bilingual
This is a wonderful collection of short stories that deal with growing up and dealing with life. They contain stories from a wide variety of perspectives, from a girl seeking counsel from her grandmother over coffee, to a kid writing a paper in a juvenile detention center, these stories felt real to me and offered me a window into another life as well as seeing some elements of my own. Many of the stories deal with immigrants from Central or South America or th
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
mostly English, some Spanish phrases. Short stories, set in Mission, TX. Written by professor at Texas Tech.

But the dude never answers our questions about what drugs he did, or does, or does he drink, and party? Did he ever get into fights? What gang does he belong to, or belonged to back in teh day? He just says, "None of that's important. You're asking the wrong questions. You're trying to look at the wrong person. You should be asking, Where did you study? How'd you get out? Why are you back
This was really a mixed bag though they were all sort of coming-of-age stories. Some of them were just okay and some of them drew me in deeper. They weren't all happy endings and some were even the opposite.

I liked that he used Spanish and didn't try to embed the definition in the next sentence. It felt natural like the way friends spoke in San Antonio when we lived there. There were a few words I had to look up, but most of the time I understood.

Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Category: Saldana, Minorities, immigration, drama, **

This book is a collection of short stories about Hispanics living in America. Some of the stories were interesting, but a lot of them seemed quite generic and plot-less. Most of the stories did not catch me emotionally and they didn't seem unique to Hispanics. The book was so so and not really very intriguing. I'm sure this book would appeal to Hispanic teens, because they are stories they may identify with.
Pamalpreet Kaur
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this book by rene saldana is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this book is about teenagets who are coping with life. they tend to make wrong decisions at this age. for example this character kiko he"s in a gang trying to fight trying to make the school miserable for other kids. this book teaches an important lesson of life. it kind of has teached me a lesson in lifr to just being yourself no a cool dude or somthing ...more
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
These short, bittersweet stories pack a punch. They are glimpses into the lives of poor Hispanic students, and most of them refuse to end happily. Instead, they demonstrate the various choices that can be made in desperate situations, and the results of those choices. Several of the characters feel remorse and desperation, and those emotions transfer seamlessly and powerfully from the page.
Ana Bennett
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
In this collection of coming-of-age stories, Saldana does a great job of telling not just the story of youth but the story of culture. He weaves a beautiful work that intertwines Spanish with English, happy with sad, and various voices that work together to express what it's like to grow up as a bi-cultural American. His stories leave you feeling satisfied and wanting more.
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng420
A combination of short stories, Saldana writes an interesting book of what it means to be an Hispanic young adult, growing up in America. They were applicable to all kids of all nationalities. I didn't like a lot of them and his writing style was bland. However I do feel that he did an excellent job of getting the point across. ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carly by: Dusty
Shelves: 2008
This is my second Saldana book. I think that I prefer this MUCH more to The Jumping Tree...but I think that Saldana is best in isolation: I only want to read one story...then stop. I don't really like reading a whole book of his.

Jan 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
this book started being good but then then it was boring...i'm still reading it but i think i'm going to abandon it..this are the kinds of books i like but this one is a little i don't think i want to recommend it to somebody. ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick short stories about Latino youth in the southwest. An eclectic cast of characters finding their way-- making sense if their world.
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
A short but surprisingly solid anthology of Valley-related short stories. I may work a few of these into the 9th grade lit class I'll be teaching in the fall. ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Collections of Mexican Teen chapter/Short stories
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
this book started good and now it is just boring, so i just abandoned it. I will tell the readers to not read it.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
I have one word to say. No.
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage kids.
I should read this book again. I was young when I first read it. Maybe then I'll develop a different viewpoint since I'm older now.. ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
it was a pretty good book
Baby Jok3z
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i really liked this book
Janette Grimshaw
rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2011
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René Saldaña Jr. graduated from Georgia State University (Ph.D.) with degrees in English and creative writing. He and his family live in south Texas, where he teaches English and writing at the university level. He is the author of "The Jumping Tree "and "Finding Our Way." ...more

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