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Soto, Gary.
New York : Harcourt, 1997
ISBN:  0152013334
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
                   Hi!  My name is Eddie and ďI live in the part of Fresno where fences sag, paint blisters on houses, and swamp coolers squeak like squirrels. The old sit on porches, fanning themselves, watching the young guys work on their cars, and mothers push strollers of fretful, crying babies. There isnít much for me to do except eat, sleep, watch out for drivebys, and remember all the men in my family who are gone. I dropped out of City College right after Jesus, my cousin, was killed, just because he told another guy he had yellow shoes. The guy just turned around and stuck a knife into his chest. My father, my uncles, my best friend from high school, and now my cousin, all are dead.ď  Sometimes it seems like I am surrounded by the dead, and by the ones they left behind, the ones who expect me to avenge these deaths. The thing is,  I really donít want to -- there has already been too much killing, and I donít want any part of it.

                    Since I dropped out of school, I stencil house numbers on the curbs to get by and I watch my back because even though I never ran with the gangs or vatos locos, it still pays to be careful and quick as a rabbit. Lately, it seems  no matter what I do, even when I try to do the right thing, life in this rotten barrio jumps up when Iím not looking and beats me down.  Thereís gotta be a way out of this here.  All I want is to be like other people, with a home, a job, a family, food on the table, and money in my pocket.  What can I do?  How do I get out of here alive?  Do I have to stay in this stinking barrio with all of itsí sadness and the tears -- tears that have been cried for all of our buried onions?   (Cathy Hesselink,, University of South Carolina CLIS student)

SUBJECTS:     Violence -- Fiction.
                        Mexican Americans -- Fiction.


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