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Angel City by Tony Johnston

Angel City

by Tony Johnston

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I liked this book for three reasons. First, the writing was superb. The authors use of similes and metaphors grasped my attention and kept my mind imagining the scenery or experiencing the feelings being described. For example the simile: “Dawn grays Los Angeles like a great pigeon wing” really makes you understand the scene. Next I liked how the book had hard life trials in it. Some children may relate to the poverty and violence. They also might connect to experiencing the loss of a friend like when Juan’s best friend Chucho died. The last reason I liked the book was because it was bilingual and you could therefore learn a bit of Spanish. For example the neighbor said: “When Juan’s grande.” From there you can infer grande means when Juan is older.
The big idea of this book is a family can be formed with anyone. It doesn’t have to be between two people who look alike or with someone who was necessarily looking to have a family. As long as there’s love there is family. ( )
  StephanieWeiner | Sep 15, 2014 |
In my opinion this was a good book. I liked that this book had some Spanish words in it mixed in with the English words. I thought that this was important because they emphasized culture a lot and the little boy was Hispanic, so the Spanish connected you to his character more. I also liked the emotions that were brought out by the characters in this book. The little boy had a friend named Chucho that was shot and killed and you could actually feel the emotion and the hurt coming from the characters which made them believable people. Another thing I really liked was the plot. Throughout the book, the father kept asking where is the love? At the end, he was in a car in the field with his son and it ended with, “in Angel City, here is love.” I thought that this was a fantastic way to end the book and to get the meaning from the book across. This book’s meaning was about love, finding it in any person and making them feel loved no matter what. ( )
  kelleemorcomb | Sep 10, 2014 |
I liked reading the story “Angel City” because of its use of different literary techniques and the way words were written to express different ideas. I liked the way the author used onomatopoeia and simile. The author used onomatopoeia when he wrote “Angel City. Humph.” The author also used simile when he wrote “gulped down like milk” and like a large strange bird.” I really enjoy when authors use these different literary techniques in their writing. Also, I really enjoy the way the author wrote foreign concepts and terms in italics. For example, he wrote “those mysteries” and “recipe for chiles en nogada.” I like how the use of this italics shows the concept is foreign to the main character. The main idea of this book is that connecting an adopted to his/her heritage can be difficult, however it is very important to a child's identity to do so. ( )
  kjacob9 | Feb 17, 2014 |
Although this story was extremely sad, it was still a great book. There is a lot of suspense and conflict throughout the plot, especially in the beginning of the story when the African American man, old man Joseph, finds a Mexican baby left in a dumpster. For most readers, that is out of the ordinary and quite depressing. Later in the story, after the baby boy grows up, his best friend is shot. The characters are believable and are very relatable. For children who live in an area like Angel City that is dangerous and filled with violence, it is likely that they have experienced seeing their friend or family member shot on the streets. All of the emotions that the boy goes through when dealing with the death of his friend is normal. For example, when corn reminds the boy of his best friend, the reader could relate to this scenario and compare it to something that reminds them of their loved one that has passed. Old man Joseph shows love towards the baby boy and promises to take care of him. The big idea of this story is that although there is a lot of violence and darkness in Angel City, there is a sense of love and friendship. ( )
  kbrehm1 | Feb 17, 2014 |
A wonderful story about how an old black man found a mexican baby in dumpster and raised him to be a cultured young man. This is based on a true story of a black man who raised a Korean baby. ( )
  Riley1878 | Oct 9, 2008 |
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Book description
This touching story moved me to tears, and it is a very rare children's book that can do that. A great read for many reasons....for adoptive or non-traditional families, for reflecting diversity (including poor families), etc. etc. It is real, full of love and hope (as well as the gritty harshness of living in a city).

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399234055, Hardcover)

Old man Joseph never imagined a family could start this way. When he finds a baby abandoned on a lonely L.A. street, he vows to raise it as his own. He’s an old farmer and knows nothing of parenting, even less about raising a Mexican baby.Yet Joseph keeps his promise and with time he realizes that even in the darkest barrio, there is a world to explore, songs and stories to be shared. Even in the darkest barrio, there is love.

Illustrated by Caldecott-Honor Medal winner Carol Byard and beautifully told by Tony Johnston, Angel City is a moving tribute to the strength of family no matter its form.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An old black man finds a baby abandoned in a dumpster and raises him in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood to know both African American and Mexican American ways.

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