Rachel's Reviews > Taking Sides

Taking Sides by Gary Soto
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's review
Jun 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: english-420

Taking Sides is about a boy (Lincoln) who moves from the ghetto part of town to a nice neighborhood. He likes the peace and quiet of his new home, but he begins to miss his old home when he goes to a school with mostly white kids. Then things get worse when the basketball team at his new school is scheduled to play his old school. He feels self conscious about playing his old friends, especially when they all wear K-mart brand shoes and his new team squeaks across the floor in Air Jordans.

Lincoln also worries that he is losing his ability to speak Spanish--he and his mom speak English at home now. Lincoln doesn't want to lose who he is.

And then there is his mom's new boyfriend--a chubby white man who works in an office and drives a baby blue car--not like his strong, manly father.

I liked this book a lot. It seemed genuine, and it had real concerns. And I like that Soto used Spanish words and phrases throughout the book. I have taken several Spanish classes, so I didn't have to constantly flip to the glossary in the back of the book (but I imagine that it would be annoying for readers who don't know any Spanish).

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