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The Tequila Worm Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Canales, Viola
ISBN: 0375840893     ISBN-13: 9780375840890
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
    OUR PRICE: $7.19  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: March 2007
Annotation: Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter "cascarones," celebrating "el Dia de los Muertos, "preparing for "quincea-era, "rejoicing in the Christmas "nacimiento," and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It's a different "mundo," but one where Sofia's traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Family life; Texas; Fiction.
Neighborhood; Fiction.
Mexican Americans; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2007004357
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.25" W x 0.50" (0.36 lbs) 199 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 102295
Reading Level: 4.6   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q38339
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 11.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): ola Canales is the author of Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (Arte Publico Press). She lives in Stanford, California.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring)
Family and storytelling have always been the two most important aspects of Sofia's life. After a childhood in the barrio, chronicled here in entertaining vignettes, she accepts a scholarship to a boarding school. She leaves home and family behind but takes the stories with her. This engaging story is humorous, vivid, and poignant. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2005 November #3)

This tender first novel suffers somewhat from an awkward structure. Narrator Sofia, whose life story hews closely to the author's own Texas barrio-to-Harvard Law trajectory, begins by relating quotidian childhood experiences as vignettes. Three successive chapters go from first communion to dyeing Easter cascarones to trick-or-treating. A quarter of the way into the novel, she is suddenly 14 and has been offered a scholarship to a boarding school in Austin, Tex., 350 miles from her home in McAllen. The loosely connected anecdotes then shift to a conventional narrative thread about convincing her parents to let her attend. What will keep readers enthralled are the details of Sofia's home life--from the sobremesa, a "sacred time" after dinner in which the family reconnects through conversation, to the worm of the title, a critter soaked in mescal that acts as a "cure for homesickness" when eaten. Readers may well feel unprepared for both a death at novel's end and Sofia's out-of-the-blue neighborhood activism--but the characters are real and engaging, the vignettes funny and enlightening, and Sofia's lack of cynicism is refreshing. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

[Page 49]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2006 February)

Gr 5-8 -Sofia, 14, lives in McAllen, TX. What she lacks in material possessions, she makes up for in personality and intelligence. When she is called a "taco head" by a student at her school, she decides to "kick that girl" by getting better grades and being a better soccer player than her tormentor. As a result of this determination, Sofia is offered a scholarship to the elite Saint Luke’s school in Austin. Now she must convince her family and herself that she is up to the challenge. Canales includes vivid descriptions of life in a Mexican-American community. Her prose is engaging and easy to read, making this novel a good choice for reluctant readers. The momentum slows a bit after Sofia’s arrival in Austin in contrast to the portion of the book set in McAllen. Still, the story is a good addition to most collections.-Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX

[Page 128]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.