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Gary Soto - book author

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 with the Bess Hokin Prize and the Levinson Award and by featuring him in the interview series Poets in Person. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. For ITVS, he produced the film “The Pool Party,” which received the 1993 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Film Excellence. In 1997, because of his advocacy for reading, he was featured as

NBC’s Person-of-the-Week. In 1999, he received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association, and the PEN Center West Book Award for Petty Crimes.

Gary admires people who have done great service for others. High on his list are Jose Padilla of California Rural Legal Assistance, Arturo Rodriguez of the United Farm Workers, Dr. Marc Lasher of the Fresno Free Clinic, and Nancy Mellor of the Coalinga Huron Avenal House. As for his own service commitment, Gary has taught English to Spanish speakers as a volunteer. In his free time he likes to play tennis, tend his garden, attend musical concerts, and travel. Recently he has discovered that he enjoys baking cookies. He divides his time between Berkeley, California and his hometown of Fresno.

Gary Soto is the author of books: Too Many Tamales, The Afterlife, Baseball in April and Other Stories, Buried Onions, Accidental Love, Taking Sides, Chato's Kitchen, Marisol, Novio Boy: A Play, Living Up The Street

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Author Books

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Title
Description
01
Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . .

This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate adn funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.
02
You'd think a knife in the ribs would be the end of things, but for Chuy, that's when his life at last gets interesting. He finally sees that people love him, faces the consequences of his actions, finds in himself compassion and bravery . . . and even stumbles on what may be true love.
A funny, touching, and wholly original story by one of the finest authors writing for young readers today.
03
The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us. Glossary of Spanish terms included.

Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Booklist Editors’ Choice, Horn Book Fanfare Selection, Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book, Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award, John and Patricia Beatty Award
04
On the mean streets of southeast Fresno, nineteen-year-old Eddie is just trying to get by. All he wants is to forget his violent past, hold down a job, and walk a straight line. But after his cousins murder, Eddie finds himselfslowly but inexorablydrawn back into the cycle of violence. . . . Set against the backdrop of a city sweltering in the grip of poverty, crime, and unfulfilled dreams, this is the unforgettable story of a young man struggling to survive in a world spiraling out of control.Unrelenting ... unsparing ... A valuable tale, its one that makes no concessions. Kirkus ReviewsSotos clear, finely honed poets voice shines in this tale of barrio life in Fresno, California ... wholly believable. ALA Booklist
05
It all starts when Marisa picks up the wrong cell phone. When she goes to return it, she feels something she's never felt before, something a bit like . . . love.

But Marisa and Rene aren't exactly a match made in heaven. For one thing, Marisa is a chola, and she isn't petite; she's a lot of girl, and she's not ashamed of it. Skinny Rene, however, gangles like a sackful of elbows and wears a calculator on his belt. In other words, he's a geek. So why can't Marisa stay away from him?

Award-winning author Gary Soto deftly captures all the angst, expectation, and humor that comes with first love in this swift, lighthearted romance.
06
Lincoln is in a jam when his basketball team at his new school--where the students are rich and mostly white--faces his old team from the barrio on the boards. How can he play his best against his friends? No matter who wins, it looks like it will be lose-lose for Lincoln.
07
Chato can't believe his luck. Not only is he the coolest low-riding cat in East L.A., but his brand-new neighbors are the plumpest, juciest, tastiest-looking family of mice to move into the barrio in a long time. So Chato and his best friend, Novio Boy, get out the pots and pans, the tortillas and the beans--everything you'd need for a welcoming feast, except for the main dish, and the guests of honor. Of course, in Chato's mind they are one and the same thing.

But the mice are bringing a surprise guest of their own, who may be more than a cool cat can swallow.
08
Marisol is a lively ten-year-old who loves to dance. When her parents decide to move away from their close-knit central Chicago neighborhood andMarisol's dance classes, Marisol realizes that no matter where she is, herdreams and passion to dance are who she is-no matter where she goes. Marisol is part of the contemporary American Girl Today line.
09
Ninth grader Rudy has a date with eleventh grader Patricia. Now he has to come up with the money, the poise, and the conversation to carry it off. This one-act play, by turns heartwarming and heart-wrenching, follows Rudy from his desperate search for guidance through the hilarious date itself--all the way to its happy conclusion.
    
Includes a glossary of Spanish phrases.
 
10
In a prose that is so beautiful it is poetry, we see the world of growing up and going somewhere through the dust and heat of Fresno's industrial side and beyond: It is a boy's coming of age in the barrio, parochial school, attending church, public summer school, and trying to fall out of love so he can join in a Little League baseball team. His is a clarity that rings constantly through the warmth and wry reality of these sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, always human remembrances.