Evanston Public Library's Reviews > We the Animals

We the Animals by Justin Torres
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Dec 31, 2011

bookshelves: fiction

The imagery is so strong and the language so beautiful in We The Animals, a story of three boys growing up with a white mother carrying too large a burden and a Puerto Rican father, a dreamer who floats from job to job and takes his anger out with his fists. Despite a difficult upbringing of abuse and neglect, the author creates moments of pure joy and you can't help but want to be with the boys as they dance around their mother shouting "Happy Birthday!...Happy New Year!...It's zero o'clock!...It's never-never time!...It's the time of your life!" or as their father shows them how to mambo like a Puerto Rican.

This edgy coming of age story is a powerful read of a family that does everything (fight, love, and make up) large. The images jump off the page and make you wince but also smile and laugh as the boys learn to become men.

Rika G.

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