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Under the Mesquite (2011)

by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

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3496058,859 (4.05)7
Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.

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Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Age: intermediate / middle
Genre: poetry

This book was a beautifully written story about a young girl who had to take on responsibilities in her family as her mother got sick. The mother daughter relationship is great in this book. I would use it in my class as a book in a unit where they get to pick out of a few books to read. Being that it is poetry written in verse it can be used for slower readers because the development of the story and the content is still great ( )
  mkumpula | Apr 20, 2021 |
It was an honor to read this great book. It would probably be a great book for 3rd-5th graders as it's easy to follow for a novel and very insightful. This book is about a girl named Lupita who was born into a very close, close family who always took care of each other. However, she was the oldest so she had many responsibilities. Especially once her mother passed away from cancer. She needed someplace to let thoughts out and a place to relax when things get crazy and that place is under the Mesquite tree. ( )
  Ana_Coronado | Apr 19, 2021 |
Under the mesquite is about a young girl, Lupita, who is part of a close-knit, 8 sibling family. After discovering that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer, she is forced to take on new roles in her household in order to help her family. As a high school student, she must juggle all the difficulties that come with being a teenager while taking care of her family. In order to escape the chaos, she finds comfort writing under the mesquite tree. This book is would work best for upper-level elementary school students and would be very powerful for those struggling with family hardships. This would be a great book to have a reading group read together then discuss.
  Elliemangan | Mar 9, 2021 |
Middle. This book is an amazing own voices story about the life of the eldest daughter in a large Mexican family that moves to Texas, U.S. Throughout this book, we follow Lupita as she works through high school, her mother's battle with cancer, and her seven younger siblings. She tells and retells this part of her life through poems that mix contain a myriad of Spanish words as well. This would be a great story to incorporate in a poetry lesson although likely for older grades as some of the subject matter is emotionally distressing.
  sarahcasimes | Mar 8, 2021 |
This book would be a great read for primary or secondary readers. The language is simple and the sections are not too long. There also are some words in Spanish that are easy to understand through the context and so it is really great for students to learn some of the words and what they mean. The book is a positive representation of children of the Mexican culture immigrating to America and what that is like. It would be great for students because they can see themselves in this book or can see how their peers may have lived through this experience. ( )
  MirandaFox | Mar 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
In this beautiful story, told in free verse, Lupita tells us about her Aztec ancestors. As I read Under the Mesquite I paused again and again to be--just be--with McCall's gorgeous phrases.
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I am standing just inside
the doorway, watching Mami talk
to the television screen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.

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Book description
As the oldest of eight siblings, Lupita is used to taking the lead—and staying busy behind the scenes to help keep everyone together. But when she discovers Mami has been diagnosed with cancer, Lupita is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit Mexican American family. Suddenly Lupita must face a whole new set of challenges, with new roles to play, and no one is handing her the script.

In the midst of juggling life as a high school student, testing her wings as an actress, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, Lupita desperately wants to support Mami in whatever way she can. While her father stays with Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she escapes the chaos of home by writing in the shade of a mesquite tree. Overwhelmed by change and loss, she takes refuge in the healing power of words.

Told with honest emotion in evocative free verse, Lupita’s journey is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. Under the Mesquite is an empowering story about the testing of family bonds, the strength of a young woman navigating pain and hardship with surprising resilience, and the kind of love that cannot be uprooted.
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Lee & Low Books

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