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Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. Paperback – January 13, 2011
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With the support from Ms. Russ and his family, Victor turns a .9 GPA to a 1.9 GPA. But that didn't stop him to applying to college. Later on he got accepted to UC Berkeley. Seven years later he graduates with a P.H.D in Sociology. Now with his wife Rebecca and his 3 children, Dr. Rios is living his dream.
This is by far, one of the best books I've ever read. The way Dr. Rios shares his life is truly incredible. With all the descriptive details, it made this book fun and easy to read. Every single paragraph I read was so understandable that I could picture everything in my head. It made the book really hard to put down. By an hour, I had the book finished and it was worth the time.
It all begins with him mom trying to cross the border to get to the U.S.A. to start a good life for her kids. She gets caught the first 2 times built eventually passes it the third time. Just the struggle she goes to save her kids is inspirational . Who would ever thought that a mom who got raped would have a son like this. After 10 years he feels unappreciated, without friends and protection so he heads to the gang life. He get his new nickname," El Puppet" , a gang, and quickly earns respect and a reputation. It's amazing what he goes through to earn a living. He experiences death, prison, drugs, and much more. What really gets me was that he came out clean as if nothing ever happened.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all. All you need is an hour or two and you too could experience what this book has to offer.
One reason why many, including myself, loved them some "Autobiography of Malcolm X." This is partially due to his metamorphosis. He goes from hoodlum to rule-following revolutionary. This has the same quality. Dr. Rios' beginnings were VERY tragic. His mother didn't want him. He only met his father once. He was brought to the US illegally. (He never says if or how he became legal. Perhaps he partook of the amnesty in 1986.) He was pulled into a gang. This has all the elements that one sees in hood/new jack films as well, including imprisonment, police harassment, premature death, etc. However, there is no mention of teen pregnancy here.
Supposedly, we are now in a "post-racial" age. I don't know if Dr. Rios subscribes to that, but there is a way in which this book doesn't bring up race or racism a lot. Near the end, he embraces pre-Columbian Mexican dance, history, and culture. I love that he gave his twin daughters Nahuatl middle names. Still, he says authority figures called him "no good," not "no good due to your ethnicity." I really think an at-risk youth of the majority group would feel quite comfortable reading this text too. There isn't much Spanish here, thus monolinguals won't be scared away. (This is not like a Gloria Anzaldua book that purposely uses code-switching language.)
A well-known LatinO academic named Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A go-to book for hard-to-please boys in high school. A valued addition to my high school library.Published 9 months ago by Suzanne R Reilard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is a well written urban study book. Great for students and those who want to learn more about the world around them. This will not disappoint.Published 14 months ago by pattyh
The story is very easy to read which I believe is a good thing because you're never too young to get inspired.
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