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Useful Fools

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Alonso, a dirt-poor teenager living in Peru, helps out at the public health clinic his mother, Magdalena, opened, so that he can see Rosa, the beautiful and wealthy daughter of the clinic’s doctor. Alonso and Rosa are both shattered when Magdalena is assassinated by a revolutionary terrorist organization. Left with no hope, Alonso might be seduced into becoming a guerrilla ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 16th 2007 by Dutton Juvenile
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Depressing, disturbing - well-written, but very dark. Set in Peru, it deals with the disparity between poverty and wealth, and the extremes of the communist revolution. With all kinds of terrorism, it is more important to understand and treat the underlying causes because treating the symptom only makes it worse.
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the book Useful Fools by Schmidt C.A. this story is about Alonso who is 15 and completely in love with Rosa, the daughter of the doctor who works at the public health clinic in his town. He looks forward to every Saturday when they both assist at the clinic. However, both their lives are forever changed when Alonso’s mother is assassinated by revolutionary forces. Alonso must flee with his remaining family to another town to escape further persecution from the revolution. Yet even in a new to ...more
Tommy Cappilupo
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
i really dint like this book it to much of a love story kind of book thats why i gave it 2 stars and im not into that. i like action books and advanture book. but the book is about a girl who has a thing with alonso who is not a rich boy but the girl her family is very rich but her father is a very bad man. when alonso moms dies and he is stuck in this camp alone that the girls father put him in thegirl leves her father and all the money to go be with him. if you want to find out more you have t ...more
Dec 23, 2008 rated it liked it
This portrayal of the life of boy in the slums of Peru whose difficult existence is made all but unbearable by the violence of the Communist Sederista movement. His love for an upper class girl whose father treated patients in the free clinic managed by his mother was a further complication as she is light-skinned and he dark--an additional divide to the already huge economic one that makes a relationship impossible.

The author was a journalist in the region at the time of the events of the setti
Rani B
Jan 17, 2014 added it
good book, useful fools was a book about how in parts of mexico there are wars being fought to get the people what the deserve. Magada was a main character that was killed for not listening to the peoples party, whitch was the party fighting for freedom. Magada was a useful fool, in whitch the benifeted off of her death. Her son, Alonso, wanted to find who killed her to get revenge, all the people who died where useful fools to them, for not listening, but killing them for a reason. in the end R ...more
Jan 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Good story on the Communist resurrection in Peru as shown through a young man's struggles. Shows the difference of the haves and have nots and how the have nots were treated, why the have nots joined the Communist "revolution" and how they came to realize that it too was just another form of tyranny and dictatorship and how it could be even more brutally violent than the government trying to suppress the terrorists.
Lori Clark-Erickson
Lexile: 630
Historical Event / Time Period: 1960s-1990s, Perusian Revolution
Liked: The most exciting part of the book was when Alonso's mom gets blown up.
Disliked: It was slow and boring and difficult to read.
Summary: This book is about a 15 year old boy living in Peru, named Alonso. He trieds to help his mother, a nurse, to help sick and injured people from the Revolutionary fighting. Most takes place in Mira Flores, Peru.
Cece Salgado
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i actually loved this book! it made me laugh, cry & be in pure suspence. Its about a poor peruvian boy who's life falls apart when his mother is killed by revoluntionists. he goes through a series of life changing events & trys to correct his mistakes. bt sadly there is no happy ending. lol but you should read it :) ...more
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who enjoy history, but don't enjoy text-book reading.
Recommended to Rachel by: nobody!
This book took a little while to read, but it was definately worth it. I never thought I could get into an historical fiction book, but this book proved me wrong! This book isn't strictly fact and made me want to yell at the characters, "DON'T DO IT!!!". Few books can get that kind of reaction out of me. Very good!
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book but I thought that it could use more editing. The story was nice but the author did not write it as well as he could have. I think it should have been reviewed more before it was published. I would recommend it to anyone who likes learning about living in poverty and how difficult life can be for certain people.
Brandon Tietz
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting book. It was about a boy named Alonso and his girl friend Rosa. They r Living a normal teenage life in Peru. Until his mom is kidnaped by a gang. The rest of the book is him trying to save his mom from the gang. It was not the best book I have read but it's not the worst.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
A well-done book on a tough subject.
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is great! I loved the entire story. I cried and laughed reading the book and that's what a great author does.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-a-boy-pov, ya
REAL good!! It was a real eyeopener! Deep story, sad end but happy =) Really enjoyed this
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As a kid, I found my adventures in books. Historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi. And lots of dog stories. I was the poster child for the Chester Public Library.
But no one can read all the time. So I also became a runner, trained dogs, and worked in an animal shelter.
When I grew up I went to South America. I worked as a journalist and traveled through jungles and deserts, met presidents and terroris

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