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The Jumping Tree: A Novel Hardcover – May 8, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-A lively novel told through vignettes about growing up in Nuevo Pe-itas, TX. American-born Rey and his loving family maintain close ties with their Mexican relatives, who live "a stone's throw" away across the border, yet have very different opportunities. Rey's family, though poor, struggles and survives through their kind and honest efforts, religious beliefs, and hard work. Just entering adolescence, Rey yearns to be a man like his father, uncles, and older male cousins. The boys of the barrio play marbles and "king of the mountain," climb trees, and collect cigarette butts. The title comes from one of the boys' challenges: to jump from the upper branches of a mammoth mesquite to another without falling. Unfortunately, Rey is the youngest and his legs are short. Predictably, he falls, and he ends up with a broken wrist. The writing is engaging and accessible, with Spanish-language phrases and names smoothly integrated throughout. Loosely tied together, the chapters create a cohesive whole. Rey is an appealing protagonist who will speak to early adolescents. Salda-a draws extended family together and binds one boy's growth into manhood with real emotion and believable events.
Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-12.Although labeled a novel, The Jumping Tree reads like a collection of related short stories that follow Rey Castanada from sixth through eighth grade. Rey easily crosses the border to visit family in Mexico. But he begins to question the authority of the border police and the sanitized history in his textbook, as he learns about civil disobedience. Wavering between childhood and glimmers of adult life, he plays rough, little-kid games with his friends, stumbles into his first romantic relationships, and loses his best friend to drugs and crime. Always, Rey tries to figure out what it means to be a man, looking to his tough, loving father as his model. With lots of self-deprecating humor and an air of reminiscence, Saldana's lively, poignant work asks universal questions while remaining culturally specific, filled with Chicano language and customs. Contemporary, subtle, and real, both titles will find a place in literature and creative-writing classes, and for readers' personal interest. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The Jumping Tree is a book about a boy named Rey. He is a Mexican. When he was little, he had an earthquake in his home. His house got ruined and now half of his famaly moved to south texas to nuevo penitas and the other half to mexico about fifty miles away.
His family finds a home and these other bigger kids there start to bully him. But a kid named Chuy helps him. Now he must face the trubles of becoming a man. He has to decide to smoke or not to and is running from the cops and even goes to a funeral. This is an action packed book that I recommend to kids 9 years of age to 14 years of age .