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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Living Up The Street (Laurel-Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These 21 pungent narrative recollections explore the vicissitudes of growing up in the barrio. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“One of those rare books that come from the author’s heart, tempered by his intelligence and made alive by imaginative spirit.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1140L (What's this?)
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440211700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440211709
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Fresno, California to Mexican American parents, Gary Soto learned the hard work ethic through his share of chores, including mowing lawns, picking grapes, painting house numbers on street curbs, and washing cars. His hard work paid off at California State University at Fresno, from which he graduated with an English degree, and later at the University of California at Irvine, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.Gary Soto is an acclaimed poet, essayist, and fiction writer. The awards for this multi-talented author are many, ranging from the U.S. Award for International Poetry Forum in 1977 for his first published book of poetry, The Elements of San Joaquin, to a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 1985 for Living Up the Street, his first published work of prose recollections. His short story collection Baseball in April, was named an American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults. In 1993 Gary Soto received the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video for Pool Party, and in 1995 he was nominated for a National Book Award.His other credits include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the California Arts Council. Gary Soto is also one of the youngest poets to appear in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Several of his books have been translated into French, Spanish and Italian.Too Many Tamales was named a Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choices of 1993. Hazel Rochman of Booklist said, "Gary Soto is an accomplished poet and adult writer, and his children's stories are widely popular. His first entry into the picture book genre is a joyful success."When he is not writing, Mr. Soto serves as a volunteer English teacher at his church. He also enjoys eating at new restaurants, which he does often with his wife, Carolyn, and their daughter Mariko. Other members of the Soto household include their two cats, Corky and Sharkie. The Soto family resides in Berkeley, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Living Up the Street is one of the many books published by Gary Soto. Many of the books that he writes are about some childhood past experiences. It tells about his ups and downs that he went through as a child. Not all of the situations are from his childhood, but many are. Knowing the beginning of the book, a few events, and what I thought of the book will give you a better understanding of the book and how interesting it is. The book begins by introducing three children that will be the main characters throughout the book. These children are Rick 6, Chango 5, who is also the narrator in the book, and Debra 4. Basically the beginning the book tells about how the family struggles in life and how their mom, when angry, takes a belt to the children when they did inappropriate things. The first event that takes place is when their mom has to leave to go somewhere and someone else was supposed to watch the three children. The children thinking they could manage on their own got to stay home by themselves. The children liked to play with fire so they did make a fire and ended up burning some items in the house and they also had a tomato fight which made the house a complete mess. When their mom came home she was very angered by what they did. Another event that took place at the beginning deals with their father. Their father was a good man and a hard working one too. Their father was going to start to do some work on the house so he and his family could have better living conditions. One day their father got a head injury at work and he had to be taken to the hospital. There he stayed and two days later he ended up dying from the head injury. The whole family was sad to see him die. One thing that he was doing before he died was putting up a fence at home.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Living Up the Street is one of many autobiographies written by Gary Soto. It tells of the ups and downs throughout his childhood, adolescence, and even adult life. This realistic book is enjoyable to read because many people can relate to one of his experiences one way or another. Though the book it without plot, sequence, or continuity, it is interesting from the very first chapter you read. This autobiography is mainly about Gary Soto, and his poor Mexican family, growing up in Fresno, California, in the 60's and 70s'. It is fun to read because it is as if you are reading and viewing someone as they grow up and mature. Through Gary's mistakes, he's learns valuable lessons for life on his own. To give you a better understanding of the book, knowing some events that occurred in the beginning will help you know how interesting it is. In the introduction, the three main characters are presents, who also happen to be all siblings. Rick, who is 6, Gary 5, and Debra 4. Most of the beginning shows the everyday family struggles they had growing up and how when the Mom, when she was angry enough, hit them with a belt after they acted up. One of the first events which happened, is when the Mom had somewhere to go and left the children home alone unattended accidentally. Since the kids loved playing with fire, they managed to burn a few items on fire inside the house and have fun with a tomato fight also, ruining the entire living room and kitchen. This is just one of many events that took place in this novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Living up the Street

by Gary Soto

Peer Review

Living up the Street is an autobiography by Gary Soto. Those who love autobiographies will love this novel. One of the reasons I liked this book is because Gary has some very interesting events that occur in his life. Sometimes those events can be quite hilarious, and other times he makes you wonder why he was doing the crazy things he did. Gary not only learns from his mistakes, he also applies what he learns to other problems he encounters throughout his life.

I generally like reading autobiographies because I get to see what another person's life was like and I get to see what problems they faced in life. Then I try to figure out how I can use their problem and solution to make my life better. Another thing I like about reading autobiographies is that it can be fun learning what happened on another person's life. For those of you who hate autobiographies, I think you will still like this novel because Gary's life is very interesting.

The difficulty level was not very high at all because he rarely used highly sophisticated words in his writing. He randomly used Spanish words throughout the book. That increased the length of the book for me because there were some words I did not know the meaning to. Overall, I would say that the novel is not very long and it is very intriguing.
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A Kid's Review on June 2, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Living Up the Street is a great book. If you like to read about people and how their everyday lives affect them this book is for you. When I picked up the book it did not sound that interesting. But when I finished the first chapter I knew the book was going to be good. It is interesting to read about the main character, Gary, a Mexican boy, and how he grows up and deals with life living in Fresno. The book is based back in the 60's and 70's. It was interesting to read about how different life was for people back then and how hard it was for Gary and his family. Gary grows up learning valuable lessons throughout the book. Living Up the Street is an interesting way to look at someone's life as they grow up and mature.
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