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Canned and Crushed Paperback – June 20, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—At first glance, 11-year-old Sandro Zapote's precocious, cheery attitude belies his difficult family situation. His engineer father—unable to find gainful employment due to his undocumented status—struggles with a back injury and works several menial jobs, one of which includes picking up roadkill. Sandro dutifully balances homework and soccer with helping his dad. Familial pressures intensify when the tween's younger sister, Girasol, is diagnosed with a serious heart condition requiring costly surgery. While his mom and sister travel to Mexico for the procedure, the boy and his dad are left to fend for themselves. Though Sandro tries to put on a brave face, it's clear that he feels unmoored by the separation; he lashes out by playing a vile prank on his teacher and bullying a fellow classmate. Hoping to ease his family's financial woes, Sandro hatches a far-fetched plan to install a can recycling center at his school. Belford's debut contains complex characterization: Sandro is affable and witty, yet his quick temper and poor decision-making will ring true to young readers. VERDICT Despite some slight overplotting—such salient issues as disability, poverty, and illegal immigration are raised but given short shrift—readers are likely to stick with Sandro till the sweet, wobbly end.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Belford compassionately reveals that there’s far more to Sandro than just his misbehavior; his family’s poverty and immigration worries lead Sandro to take on far more than an 11-year-old should. Sandro’s breezy, conversational narrative, often directed at the reader, offsets the weight of his troubles in this eye-opening story that will likely resonate with a wide audience."Booklist
"Belford’s debut contains complex characterization: Sandro is affable and witty, yet his quick temper and poor decision-making will ring true to young readers....readers are likely to stick with Sandro till the sweet, wobbly end."—School Library Journal
"Holy guacamole! You’ve got to meet soccer star Sandro, whose brain is as quick as his feetwhich is good because between chasing a turtle who’s an escape artist, helping his dad collect roadkill, and conquering fourth grade, he’s got to move fast. Luckily, Sandro’s the kind of kid who puts the can in can-do and the fun in funny. You’ll laugh out loud at Sandro’s adventures, sympathize with his foul-ups, and cheer for his wins. Also, watch out: you’ll never look at duct tape or fourth grade the same way again!" Valerie Tripp, best-selling author of the American Girl series books
"Sandro is the type of kid you rush to sit by in the cafeteria just so you can hear what he says or see what he does next. Canned and Crushed will charm you, as Sandro is a sweet-hearted, accident-prone mischief-maker you won’t forget. The only thing bigger than the messes he finds himself in is his heart." Beth Vrabel, author of Pack of Dorks
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