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Neighborhood Odes Hardcover – April 15, 1992

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Magic Tree House 1-4
Magic Tree House 1-4
The adventures that started it all. Newly bound together, the first four books of the fan-favorite chapter-book series are the perfect introduction to the Magic Tree House series. Paperback | Kindle book | Magic Tree House series

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Hispanic neighborhood in Soto's 21 poems is brought sharply into focus by the care with which he records images of everyday life: the music of an ice cream vendor's truck, the top of a refrigerator where old bread lies in plastic, dust released into the air when a boy strums a guitar. The diverse voices include that of a 12-year-old girl "with hair that sings / like jump ropes" and a fourth-grade boy whose new teeth create the "racket / Of chicharron / Being devoured . . . ." The vocabulary sprinkled with Spanish (there is a glossary at the back of the book) remains consistent, as does the form of the poems, which fall in long vertical columns with short lines. The tight clumps of language reproduce the quality of rapid and playful conversation. Affectionate without being overly sentimental, the collection provides a good introduction to contemporary poetry as well as a fine homage to a Chicano community. Diaz's woodcuts complement the poems perfectly: the silhouettes are fanciful and dynamic but do not draw attention from the words on the page. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up-- The rewards of well-chosen words that create vivid, sensitive images await readers of this collection of poems. Through Soto's keen eyes, they see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything. The odes celebrate weddings, the anticipation of fireworks, pets, grandparents, tortillas, and the library. Although Soto is dealing with a Chicano neighborhood, the poetry has a universal appeal. A minor drawback is that the Spanish words are not translated on the page, but in a glossary; to consult it interrupts the reading. Still, children will surely recognize the joy, love, fear, excitement, and adventure Soto brings to life. It is the same sensitivity and clarity found in Baseball in April (HBJ, 1990), his collection of short stories. Black-and-white illustrations blend well with the astute verbal imagery. Each selection is an expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries. --Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition (April 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152568794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0153022593
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,024 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was a fantastic support when teaching 5th graders to move beyond "recipe" poetry. The ode structure helps them find the poetry in their day to day experiences. They thoroughly enjoyed listening to Gary Soto's odes, and were eager to write their own.
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Format: Paperback
This is a delightful collection of odes to ordinary things, in the tradition of Neruda, but written in language much more accessible to elementary and/or middle school students and accompanied by charming woodcut designs. This book would be useful in introducing poetry, especially to native Spanish speaking students, in that most of the vocabulary is fairly unintimidating and many of the subjects spring from experiences as universal as eating snow cones in the summer, watching fireworks, tennis shoes, and visiting the library. Also useful is the short glossary of terms for the Spanish-impaired ;-)
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By Bonnie Lindsay on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book used in my son's college children's lit class. Was in good condition but I have not read it
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By StefanievPB on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book! The poems and the illustrations are fabulous! I have really enjoyed reading these poems with my 8 year-old son, he especially likes the one about "Pablo's Tennis Shoes". These poems are sweet and funny and great to read out loud. I highly recommend this one!
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