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Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X.…
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Marcelo In The Real World (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Francisco X. Stork

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1,2681266,225 (4.26)162
Member:mlmarcus
Title:Marcelo In The Real World
Authors:Francisco X. Stork
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Read 2012, young adult

Work details

Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X. Stork (2009)

Recently added bylunule, yougotamber, kisherwood, private library, YouthCenter, akorn59
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» See also 162 mentions

English (123)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Seventeen-year-old Marcelo Sandoval is happy attending his special school, helping with the horses in the stable at the school and going home to his special tree house. But his father Arturo thinks he needs to become a part of the real world. So he tells Marcelo that he will have to work in Arturo’s law firm for the summer. If Marcelo is successful, he may attend his special school in the fall. If not, he must attend the local public school. Marcelo doesn’t want to leave his school where he is in his own comfort zone and where he likes the stable work. So he decides to do his best at the summer job in the law firm. He meets and friends Jasmine who is his mentor in the mailroom. She helps him to discover his place in the law firm and in the real world. Woven into the plot is an instance of how social injustice sometimes exists in our legal system. As the summer progresses, Marcelo uncovers just such a case that is being handled by the law firm and finds that he is faced with a very big and important decision that could change not only his life but also the lives of those who work in the law firm.

The book is about an innocent teenage boy who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and who lives in his own little world of school, horses, religion and music. Through the events in the book, he begins to learn how to function in the real world. He finds out that he will have to deal with many different types of people including some who are not so honorable. Stork takes his character realistically through this transition although I know in real life that such a transition probably wouldn’t happen quite that quickly. I really liked that the author made me think like Marcelo as I read the book and in so doing I could empathize with him. It gave me some insight into how someone on the spectrum might think and react to the outside world. Reading this book would help the teenager better understand how someone with a disability might have difficulty functioning in the real world. ( )
  WizardsofWorch | Apr 9, 2014 |
Marcelo is looking forward to working at the riding stable during summer vacation, but his dad wants him to work in the mailroom of his law office to gain some real-world experience. Very good book! ( )
  ThePageturners | Mar 27, 2014 |
Marcelo has managed to stay out of the "real world" for most of his life. As a teen with a condition somewhere on the Asperger's/autism spectrum, he has been allowed to go to a private school called Patterson, for students with learning or physical disabilities. Yet Marcelo's parents believe he can function in the real world and attend public school instead of avoiding it. And so his father, Arturo, decides it would be useful for Marcelo to work in the mail room of his law firm for the summer to get a taste of what life is like outside of Patterson.

As Marcelo narrates the story of his summer, we see what goes on in his mind. He has a "special interest," as he describes it, in religion—though he is a practicing Catholic, he also has a strong desire to learn as much as he can about the other world religions. He has a knack for taking care of horses. He loves music and owns many CDs, a good portion of them classical. He tends to refer to himself and others he speaks to in the third person, though occasionally he checks himself. And he always wants to do what is right, even if what's right asks him to sacrifice things he wants, or hurts those closest to him.

Though this started off slow for me, I began to love Marcelo. He's such a gentle soul, though unsure of many real-world "rules" and guidelines that weren't an issue at Patterson. All his life people have adapted to him, and now he's facing the challenge of adapting to the world around him.

The discussion of right and wrong is not a clear one, and this makes the story not only realistic, but incredibly valuable. There is no clear-cut "right" course of action. Every decision that's made will affect others—even though Marcelo wants to do what's right, he needs to weigh the consequences of each path he might take.

Marcelo comes into contact with a lot of awful, corrupt people, but he also meets a number of others with good hearts. Wendell is a scumbag, as is his father; Jasmine, on the other hand, tries to get through each day in this ruthless atmosphere doing the best she can, and is essentially a good person. Then there are the people in between, like Marcelo's own father.

Perhaps one of the things I liked best about this novel is the way Marcelo sees and describes his condition. It quickly becomes clear there isn't a whole lot wrong with him, though he does have his quirks. But Stork does not present it as a disease. In fact, by the end, I did not see it as one, which is why I refer to it as a condition. Marcelo is extremely sensitive to others because of it, though he doesn't let this compassion completely rule his life. He keeps on going, knowing that he's doing what he can.

Lincoln Hoppe gives a good performance as narrator of the audio version. His voice is soothing and young-sounding, making Marcelo's voice believable. He gives emphasis in the right places, and each character sounds unique enough to differentiate between them. My biggest problem in listening to this instead of reading it was I couldn't tell in many places whether Marcelo was talking out loud or thinking his narration. Most of the time I eventually figured it out, but sometimes it was frustrating.

A detailed and intimate look at humanity, Marcelo in the Real World brings us the account of a young man discovering the greed and indifference to the wellbeing of others in the world, as well as the love and goodwill we are all capable of, should we so choose. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
Loved it. There were a couple places where I thought it could've been a bit more subtle, but I really did love it.

Most of the comparisons to this book seem to involve Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but if you liked this I'd suggest that you also read Lowboy by John Wray. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
This was great. Good writing on the line level, nice plotting and emotional arc on the story level; interesting main character. I think Wendell was a bit TOO Bad Guy and Jasmine was a bit TOO Good Girl but: any book for teens that takes family, identity, faith, AND sex as seriously as this book does is amazing. ( )
  MelissaZD | Jan 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Shot with spirtualism, laced with love, and fraught with conundrums, this book, like Marcelo himself, surprises.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Ilene Cooper
 
Writing in a first-person narrative, Stork does an amazing job of entering Marcelo's consciousness and presenting him as a dynamic, sympathetic, and wholly believable character.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo
 
. . . in the skillful hands of Francisco X. Stork, 17-year-old Marcelo Sandoval is the bravest, most original hero I’ve met in years.
 
Stork introduces ethical dilemmas, the possibility of love, and other real world conflicts, all the while preserving the integrity of his characterizations and intensifying the novel's psychological and emotional stakes. Not to be missed.
added by khuggard | editPublishers Weekly
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Ruth, my mother
First words
"Marcelo, are you ready?"
Quotations
The term "cognitive disorder" implies there is something wrong with the way I think or the way I perceive reality. I perceive reality just fine. Sometimes I perceive more of reality than others.
I stay up listening to her fall asleep, feeling how it is not to be alone.
The right note sounds right and the wrong note sounds wrong.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear–part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music or Marcelo’s differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer. . . to join “the real world.”

There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file–a picture of a girl with half a face–that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

Reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in the intensity and purity of its voice, this extraordinary audiobook is a love story, a legal drama, and a celebration of the music each of us hears inside.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545054745, Hardcover)

Imagine CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG . . . with a romance, and you have the beginnings of this story of a young man struggling with the world outside his head--and the woman who gets inside it.

Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. (cont'd)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

(summary from another edition)

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