Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Publication date: 31 October 2011 by Lee & Low Books
ISBN 10/13: 1600604293 | 9781600604294
Category: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Keywords: Immigration, Family, Cancer, Mexican, Diversity Reading Challenge
Lupita is the oldest daughter of a tight-knit Mexican-American family. They moved to Texas when she was just a baby. When her Mami develops cancer, Lupita takes it upon herself to care for her seven younger siblings. Only a young teenager herself, she rapidly grows into a young woman who struggles with identity and family obligations.
I can't really write about this book for fear of giving something away. But it's beautifully written, incorporating some Spanish words into the English prose. Every character is well drawn out, especially Lupita and her mother. This is a family that may have some problems, but overall love each other. The warmth and strength of all the characters, especially Lupita and her father, are gorgeously written.
Reading this on the beach this morning, I absorbed their story within a couple of hours and found myself crying. The tone, language and texture is heavy and serious, yet is filled with universal truths: A mother's love for her family, the fear of loss, growing pains, and finding yourself. Everything is touched upon in a very natural way. The story flowed over me, as if my best friend was telling it.
I'm so thankful I picked this book up to read. It will stay with me for a long time.
Get it and settle yourself into a comfy chair with some tea and a box of tissues. Lupita's journey is not to be missed.
Visit the author online at http://guadalupegarciamccall.com.
Find more reviews by kimberlybuggie at www.thewindypages.com, and find out more about the Diversity Reading Challenge at www.diversityinya.com.