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4.6 out of 5 stars
Mas alla de mi  Reaching Out Spanish Edition
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2010
I have read all three of the professor's books in their Spanish-language versions, and I have read each several times. As someone trying to learn Spanish, I find these books to be most useful. The vocabulary is practical, consisting of everyday words; the style and narrative are direct; the ideas and sentiments comprehensible and familiar. This book is a continuation of an autobiography that begins with the professor's previous book -- Senderos fronterizos. In that book, Professor Jiménez describes his family's illegal entry into the U.S. and the difficult years of poverty in California, where his family labored as agricultural workers. In Senderos, we watch the family struggle to make ends meet. We watch Francisco and his older brother Roberto struggle to put themselves through high school. It's the sort of immigrant story that every American can understand and enjoy. Francisco and his siblings adapt to their new environment (while the father does not), and Francisco wins admission to university. In this second volume of the story, Francisco leaves his family in Santa Maria and goes to college. The reader admires Francisco's love of family and determination to educate himself. I can't believe that he didn't kiss Laura before he put her on the train to San Carlos. Maybe he did and just won't tell us. I suspect that we might see a third installment to this story. If the professor writes it, I will certainly buy and read it.

At the moment, I am rereading Más allá, looking up all the words that I didn't know and let pass on the first reading. As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I derive an added pleasure from reading this book -- that of recognizing many of the places described in the story. A very pleasurable read. Highly recommended for intermediate learners.

All right, here it is on page 210: "Me estiré y le di un beso. Oímos el silbido del tren." So Laura gets her kiss, after all. Now I'm happy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2010
This is the 3rd book in a series about the true life of the author which starts after high school graduation. The first book started out with the author as a young boy. He and his family face incredible challenges in life's struggles through poverty, hunger, weather extremes, finding shelter, education, bullies, immigration, work ethics, and faith in God. After reading the first book, the students in my Spanish class all wanted to continue reading the next 2 books. Francisco Jimenez shares his family's stories about overcoming more than their share of negative situations. His life growing up was blessed because he had a mother who believed in him and encouraged him, but even with that positive influence, his life is a real miracle about overcoming odds stacked against him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2011
I read this series of 3 in my adult Spanish class. You will be so blessed by reading these 3 books in order: 1) Cajas de carton, 2)Senderos fronterizos, & 3) Más allá de mi. They are all heart-warming and gut-wrenching. You will realize that your problems don't amount to much if you compare yourself with this family and what they endured. As a young child, Francisco Jiminez, who couldn't even speak any English, ends up with a college education, eventually receiving a PhD, and then even wrote books in English. What a miracle story this is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2014
I've found all three books in this series good for learning Spanish. The stories are engaging. The vocabulary is "Goldilocks" not too hard, not too easy, just right. For me, about 500 new words a book. Means some pages i could make it trough fairly easily, others were harder, but none were impossible. Not too many idioms. I read the books on an iPad with the Collins dictionary app. Simply highlight any words you don't know, then copy the definition into the notes for later review. Then I use a flashcard program to practice the words. Also, make friends with some native speakers so when you run across an idiom you can figure it out. Helps to eat lots of Mexican food as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2013
I liked the book and the author's ability to clearly explain the difficulties of assimilating into another culture and appreciated the fact that he realized the only way his life in a new country would be satisfactory was if he did assimilate. He managed to do that and still maintain a love of his own culture. It is a good course book. Would not be on my top list for entertainment reading
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Francisco Jimenez entered the United States as a youngster with his parents who were seeking a better life for the family. They lived in incredible poverty, moving around California, picking agricultural crops. Francisco did not get to go to school until the end of the season each year, often November. His persistence and hard work offered him the opportunity to rise out of poverty to get an education, help his family, and focus on the problems of farm worker conditions.
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on October 4, 2014
I really enjoyed the entire trilogy. This was also a great way to improve my Spanish. The storyline includes vocabulary of daily living as well as vocabulary around education and farming. The storyline is fairly linear so it is easy to follow if Spanish is your second language. I also gained a deeper understanding of the experience of immigrants. Plus, I downloaded a Spanish dictionary onto my Kindle so that I could touch a word that I didn't know and get an immediate translation.
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on July 2, 2014
Interesting story, and good for an intermediate Spanish student.
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on June 15, 2014
My father in law loved to read and he loved this book. Will buy more from this author and the price is unbeatable!
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on March 16, 2014
I bought this for a young man in my class who speaks not English. It was kind of a hit - he does not like to read. LOL
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