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Parrot in the Oven: Mi vida Paperback – December 28, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The tale follows the life and realistic adventures of Mexican-American Manuel Hernandez. Manuel's a good kid. He has a slacker older brother, an older sister that flirts with danger, and a baby sibling that doesn't understand the ways of the world just yet. His father is unemployed leaving him regularly drunk and belligerent. His mother, not quite up to facing the problems surrounding her, stays by his side despite the effects of his actions on the kids. But mostly this is Manny's story. It's a look at a sometimes painful adolescence and the world of classism and racism in which everyone lives. That and it's a beautiful read.
I'll give you a taste of what I'm talking about. For example, after doing painful yard work with his brother the book reads, "When we stopped, finally, the sun was prickling like a hot rash on the back of my neck, and a piece of lava was wedged in my spine. My brother's face was swollen and burnished as a new penny". Another favorite passage of mine speaks of Manny's sister's friend. "She was in love with Nardo, but he didn't pay her any mind, mostly because blocks of fat sagged on her hips like a belt of thick Bibles".Read more ›
This books is about Manuel's struggle to find himself and to figure out his life. It takes the reader on a journey through about a year in Manuel's life, and we get to see the things he interacts with daily, from his family situation to the bullies who live on his street, to the other people who surround him. Even though he sometimes has problems, like when he is invited to a party full of all white kids and things start to go bad, Manuel always manages to keep his head on his shoulders and get through things okay. Even though his family is dysfunctional, the reader is able to see some good in them.
The language in this book is beautiful; the author has a gift for stringing together very poetic sentences. However, there wasn't any sort of cohesive storyline. I kept trying to wrestle the individual parts of the story into a plot, and was frustrated when they remained disjointed until the end.
In this story Manny has to experience many stressful events. Manny is beat up by kids at school, his sister is having problems with her pregnancy that none knows about, his mother worries about his dad and the family all the time, and both his brother and father are gone from the house day and night drinking. Over time Manny learns to deal with these events but not easily. Manny tries many different solutions. He tried joining the boxing team but that didn't work, he tried hanging out with older kids to try to make new friends but that didn't work and he tried to join a gang but that was the worst of them all. I will let you find out what happens to Manny yourselves. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Manny Hernandez is a young man growing up in the projects. His father is an alcoholic who struggles getting and keeping a job, so he relies on his kids to make ends meet. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Red Dragon Rose
Such a great book! I bought it for my english class but now I feel in love with it its a classic i dont ever want to sell it.!Published 4 months ago by Rocio Arellano
read this for a class on adolescent literature and was really impressed with the author's poetic use of metaphor. reminded me of a lot of southern lit.Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
Martinez's writing is delightful and I was impressed by his ability to describe visceral sensations associated with typical emotions, like fear feeling like shards of ice or... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Joan E. Cardellino