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Neighborhood Odes

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Award-winning poet Gary Soto and Caldecott winner David Diaz turn their eyes on the world of kids. From family pictures to pinatas, from the gato with a meow like a rusty latch to Fourth of July fireworks, the startling and often overlooked moments that define childhood are vividly brought to life by these two acclaimed talents.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  199 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Feb 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book contains a collection of poems that depict life in a Hispanic neighborhood. There are Spanish words throughout the books, with an index in the back to translate.

Even though some of the poems may seem silly ['Ode to Pork Rinds'] they are truly heartwarming and give the reader a great sampling of the neighborhood.
Nicole Grote
A young girl named Rachel talks about the daily life in her neighborhood as the reader gets to see what happens in her neighborhood through Rachel's perspective. The book is written in almost poem like writing and covers many different aspects of her neighborhood like the sprinkler, and shoes she sees. For a children picture book, it is a tad on the long side so it wouldn't be a great read aloud to do if you wanted to finish a whole book but if you split it up it could be done. The book is made ...more
Charity Barlow
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the book, Soto writes poems about growing up in a poor, Hispanic neighborhood as a child. He explains how he enjoyed small things like playing in sprinklers and going to birthday parties. The book helps spark memories in the mind of the reader of their own childhood. Some of the things Soto writes about are often overlooked in everyday life when truly they are the basis of our childhoods.
The author uses imagery to promote vivid, detailed memories. Imagery helps him to create a setting for
Jake Miller
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection. Soto wrote exclusively through odes that explore adolescence in a Mexican American community. The imagery in this piece really shines and Soto brought me back to some of those sensory details that stick out in your childhood (like ‘the color of / a face in the porchlight, mentioned in ‘Ode to La Llorona’). Some of my favorites in the book included ‘Ode to Los Raspados,’ ‘Ode to La Tortilla,’ ‘Ode to La Llorona,’ ‘Ode to Mi Parque,’ ‘Ode to Weight Lifting,’ and ‘ ...more
Abbie Gerig
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-lit
Genre: Poetry
Grades: 6-8

Anyone can relate to this book if they've grown up in a neighborhood or had a childhood. This book talks about Mexican American neighborhood experiences, but it has odes about common childhood experiences, such as ice cream. So I could feel a part of the odes too. A neat aspect of this book is that it includes spanish words, and if you don't happen to know what it means, there is a glossary in the back.
Taylor Parker
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Poetry
Grade: 4-6

I am a fan of this poetry book! I really like that the poems were about the author's neighboorhood growing up. He uses lots of detail to describes the important things to him. I thought that the poems were personal and well written by Soto. The black and white illustrations were a nice addition to the book.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Accidental sagacity strikes again at the used bookstore. Should I tell them that I got a steal with only paying 5 cents for this collection?

With a poem called Ode to Chicharrones how could anyone pass this up?

Accessible poems for all ages -- you will be transported into a Mexican American neighborhood!
Allison Tubaugh
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Genre: poetry

Grades: 3-5

Neighborhood Odes is a pretty good poetry book. It was not one of my most favorites, but overall it could still be used to introduce poetry and Rhythm. You can have children make up their own poem after reading this book.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All elar teachers need this! Gary Soto is the best!
Michael Mascari
Lots of poems, for people who enjoy poetry.
Ashley Oswald
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I normally don’t like poetry, but this book was amazing! The culture in it is so rich and fun to read along. Being able to see through the lens of a different culture was so cool and I believe lots of children would agree, but also grow from this book as well.
ATOS: 4.9
DRA: 40
6 Traits: sentence fluency
Shannon Atako
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gary Soto's Neighborhood Odes offers a glimpse into life in a Mexican-American community. His odes breathe life into the seemingly mundane and illustrate how anything can be fodder for poetry. The poems are written primarily in English, with a few Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout. An index in the back allows readers to follow along. While some of the odes sound silly on the surface (particularly the odes to tennis shoes, pork rinds, and snow cones), they each focus on an specific e ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
What a wonderful book. It’s listed as children’s literature, but it’s really touching and beautiful and good for all ages.

The poems are about moments in a child’s life. The setting may be different from where I grew up, but the childlike perspective is delightfully familiar. It’s respectful of kids, I think. The illustrations are terrific, too.

I picked this as one of the 5 poetry books I said I’d read in 2005. Got up on a Sunday morning, made myself a pot of tea, built a fire in the fireplace, t
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, latino
Published: 2005, Sandpiper
Age: 9-12
Gary Soto writes 21 poems that are from his life in a Hispanic neighborhood. He takes you to the simple places from his past and you can picture the images as if you were right there. He write odes to things like weddings, pets, tortillas, a library, parks, music, tennis shoes, and grandparents from a Spanish point of view, but anyone could relate to the universal feelings of excitement, love, happiness, and adventure. The black and white woodcut prints by Davi
The Styling Librarian
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, kids-books
Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto, illustrated by David Diaz – Poetry – This felt like a novel in verse following life in a Mexican-American neighborhood that’s full of joy, love, simple views of life and more. Just a wonderful book. I took my time reading this one because I wanted to treasure every word. From “Ode to my Library”:
It’s small
With two rooms
Of books, a globe,
That I once
Dropped, some maps
Of the United States and Mexico,
And a fish tank with
A blue fish that
Is always making jeta,
There are
Lirit Green
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Neighborhood Odes was a interesting poetry book. This book talked about how little things can make a big difference. Gary Soto's poems in this book are award-winning. He pays tribute to so many thing like, the little things that can make anyone's day. For example, a little boy who is having a terrible day but then remembered that he can make a tortilla. Neighborhood Odes takes place in a Mexican American neighborhood. One of my favorite poems in this book is about a boy who can make his day bett ...more
Jocelyn Mejia
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The verses in the book all describe Gary Soto's memories of his neighborhood growing up. Each verse is like a rhythm of events that describes living in a Mexican American community. Some memories that Soto describes include eating raspados in the summer, to his neighborhood library, as well as the weddings he would attend as a child. This book is great for older elementary students. The book also includes some illustrations by David Diaz which are all black and white and describes the verse that ...more
Elsa Acosta
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book takes me to my childhood. The neighborhood events, people and culture is similar to my childhood experiences. It's hard for me to write poetry even as a beginner. I want to read different kinds of poetry to get creative and write my own. This book is great for elementary-intermediate students to familiriaze with poetry and to start writing their own. As a teacher I would use this book for poetry lessons.
Lauren Adams
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto is a book of poems that gives a glimpse into the life of a Mexican - American community. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is Soto's amazing description in his poems, it feels like you are right there in the poem. From tortillas, to tennis shoes, there are various topics that are found in these poems. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the works of Gary Soto and is interested in seeing a glimpse of a Mexican -American community. ...more
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
My biggest beef with Soto's Neighborhood Odes is that the children's poems came out like an adult writing as if he were a child. The line breaks were choppy, the revelations simplistic and the metaphors, well, childish. Childish being very different from sincere ans wondrous, tones this collection does hit in a few places but not near often enough. ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In NEIGHBORHOOD ODES by Gary Soto, the style of the poems is what stands out. Gary Soto writes about his childhood memories of growing up in a Mexican-American neighborhood. While the poems are written in English, he sparingly adds Spanish words in order to relate the Mexican-American experience. This vocabulary he use gives his poems a unique style.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This free style poetry leads the reader on a trip through a Hispanic neighborhood experiencing cultural elements such as pinatas, La Tortillas, Los Chicharrones and other aspects found in all cultures. This poetry may be appealing to the older reluctance reader, due to its familiar content and readability.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am on a journey to find ya poems about coming of age and childhood innocence. Neighborhood Odes hit the spot for childhood innocence.

I grew in Santa Fe, and these poems remind me fondly of the good times.

My favorites are Ode to La Tortilla, Ode to Mi Perrito, Ode to Los Chicharrones, and Ode to Family Photographs.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: california, verses
Based on the little that I've read by Gary Soto, his imagery seems at once gentle and vivid. These childhood snapshots of life in California's Central Valley are further proof. There are a lot of food mentions (snow cones, pork rinds, tortillas, chopped veggies), so don't read this while hungry. ...more
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Deceptively simple, but lyrical, profound, and highly enjoyable - who says poetry has to be obtuse and complicated?
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book, poetry
This book was okay. I would probably use it to have on my classroom bookshelf, but I probably wouldn't use it as a teaching tool. ...more
Claudia Naranjo
Odes to anything you are familiar with. Maybe you will look your favorites shoes in a different way now ;)
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Poems depicting a childhood in a Mexican-American neighborhood. David Diaz's black and white illustrations (possibly wood prints)capture the spirit of the poems and deliver a flavor of the life. ...more
Brenna Johnson
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved the memories of Soto's boyhood in California through poetry. ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I learned about this slim volume from a Carol Jago tweet. A few of the odes really stood out, but it was a great collection overall.
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Future Teachers, ...: Neighborhood Odes- Jennifer Gallagher 1 1 Nov 16, 2016 09:53PM  

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Gary Soto, born April 12, 1952, was raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults, most notably New and Selected Poems, a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry International, and Poetry, which

has honored him w

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