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The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by…

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (edition 2012)

by Francisco X. Stork

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3092536,089 (4.02)17
Title:The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Authors:Francisco X. Stork
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2012), Edition: 1, Paperback, 352 pages
Tags:Cancer, loss of parents, family

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The Last Summer Of The Death Warriors by Francisco Stork


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I love this author's style, and his richly developed characters. My one criticism of this book is its pacing. It drags in places and then the end comes abruptly. With decent editing this could have earned a five star rating from me. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
Wonderful characters, and deep subjects treated with respect and humor and kindness. The epilogue made me a little teary (in a good way)! ( )
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
(7) ( )
  activelearning | Jan 26, 2014 |
Pancho Sanchez and Daniel Quentin (a.k.a. D.Q.) are an unusual pair. Pancho is a 17-year-old teen with a difficult past. His mother died when he was just five, his father was recently killed in a terrible freak-accident, and his developmentally delayed sister died – or, according to Pancho, was murdered – just three months later. D.Q. has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer that is nearly always terminal, and lives at St. Anthony’s, and orphanage for teenage boys, although his mother is alive, well, and desperate to have D.Q. back in her life. D.Q., on the other hand, wants nothing to do with his mother, and has agreed to spend his summer undergoing an experimental treatment according to her wishes in exchange for emancipation.

Their unlikely partnership begins when D.Q. requests that Pancho, who has just moved into St. Anthony’s, spend the summer working as his aide, to keep him company while he receives his treatments in Albuquerque. Pancho agrees, especially when his search into his sister’s death leads him to believe that the man who was with Rosa when she died is living there. While D.Q. is focusing on becoming a “death warrior” by living every moment of what life he has left, Pancho has resigned himself to effectively ending his by killing the man who killed his sister, with no hope of not getting caught. In the end, both boys are challenged and changed in their views of themselves and what they want for their futures.

Stork manages to work in a wide variety of issues and themes into his novel, some of them heavy-handed, and some of them running just under the surface. With death an ever present reality for both boys, issues of faith and future are a constant question, although formal religion is only faintly present. Stork deftly works in depictions of class, race, and economic disparity between the characters, and subtly references how much of an impact these factors have on how the characters see, experience, and are treated by the world around them. The fact that the character’s names are an allusion to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza remind you to focus on the journey that they take, and to look critically at how they create their own realities. This is a great book for adults and teenagers alike, and forces you to ask the question of what it means to really live. ( )
  meganelizabeth | Nov 19, 2013 |
Pancho has been dropped at an orphanage after losing his entire family, both parents have died and his older sister Rosa has recently been found dead. Although the official report says "natural causes", Pancho is convinced she has been murdered and wants to get revenge on the man he feels is responsible. At the orphanage, Pancho's life becomes linked to DQ, a long-time resident who is trying his best to survive brain cancer. DQ frequently waxes philosophical and convinces the director of the orphanage that Pancho needs to become his companion and accompany him to Albuquerque where he'll undergo a clinical trial, see his estranged mother, and be reunited with Marisol. The relationship between these two characters and the journey they take over the course of the book is compelling. While DQ remains enigmatic, Pancho grows and changes with the powerful and profound experiences he has during his time becoming a "death warrior", the philosophy of life manifesto DQ is constructing while coming to terms with his own mortality. ( )
  ewyatt | Mar 2, 2013 |
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The ride to St. Anthony's took longer than he expected.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545151333, Hardcover)

Two young men -- one dying of cancer, one planning a murder -- explore the true meanings of death and life in the tense and passionate new novel from the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home, he knows his time there will be short: If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to help D.Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D.Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him to live out his last days fully--ideally, he says, with the love of the beautiful Marisol. As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the influence of D.Q. and Marisol, who is everything D.Q. said she would be;

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Pancho is bent on avenging the senseless death of his sister, but after he meets D.Q, who is dying of cancer, and Marisol, one of D.Q.'s caregivers, both boys find their lives changed by their interactions.

(summary from another edition)

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