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Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio Paperback – June 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
After reading a few Hispanic American novels, I am beginning to see some similarities. They have all been family based, family oriented. They each include a glossary to help readers with the Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout the text. They are life affirming and tell an uplifting tale.
Any Small Goodness runs along the same lines. The title comes from what Arturo's father tells him: "In life there is bueno and there is malo. If you do not find enough of the good, you must yourself create it ... Remember this thing - any small goodness is of value."
To this end, Arturo and his friends form the Green Needle gang. In the Los Angeles barrio that is their home, they must deal with real street gangs. But the Green Needle gang sneaks up to people's houses and leave Christmas trees and gifts on the porch. This is only one of the ways they concoct to make their lives and neighborhood better.
Arturo and his friends resist their teacher's efforts to Americanize their names (Arturo, Jaime, Alicia, Raul become Arthur, James, Alice, and Ralph, but only briefly). They are proud of their Hispanic heritage and look to Arturo's grandmother as a touchstone to the traditional ways. She cooks Mexican food, uses old time utensils, and speaks Spanish. Arturo is both proud of his grandmother and embarrassed by her - in the fashion of all teens. But they are Americans, after all, and participate in all that is American.Read more ›
Turo sees "small goodness" on occasion, including the time a neighbor found their missing cat Huitlacoche (Corn Fungus in English) and returned her to the family. At other times, Turo sees difficult situations -- such as a demonstration against the school board, and outsiders threatening to disrupt a school dance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A short novel, but packed with topics to discuss and figurative language to keep students interested!! So much to discuss! And yes, every small goodness counts in this world.Published 21 months ago by the teach
This book is written on a 2nd grade reading level, however it is an eye opening book about what it's like to be of a non-English speaking or very little English speaking family and... Read morePublished on December 13, 2012 by Samantha
A beautiful book about cultural differences. To see the insight of a child that lives in the lower class and the situations he deals with, yet he still learns kindness. Read morePublished on July 31, 2012 by CAGrizz
Arturo and his family move to LA and run head on into both the terrible problems of the city and the amazing love of the town. Read morePublished on January 12, 2012 by Debnance at Readerbuzz
Beware: If you read this book you will die from how amazing it is. It has a message that is important and it stops teenagers or anybody from doing improper things. Read morePublished on March 26, 2007
Overall, a very touching story about Arturo and his familia y amigos (family and friends) and even a few malditos (bad guys). Read morePublished on October 17, 2005 by The BFC