Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida

by Victor Martinez

Manny is smart; sometimes he thinks he might be smart enough to make it out of his... read more

Manny is smart; sometimes he thinks he might be smart enough to make it out of his struggling neighborhood to a life beyond poverty, beyond the threat of apathy and violence. In his emotionally torn family, the tension of racism and economic oppression plays itself out: his father drinks to combat frustration, his brother can't keep a job, his sisters are experiencing too much too soon, and his mother strives to hold them all together even as she sometimes seems close to unraveling herself. But despite the strain in his family, Manny finds home is a place of refuge compared to the uncertainty of the outside world. The Mexican-American teenager's observations of a life filled with tension and fragile possibility are not without humor or hope, but it is his honesty in describing the experiences that unfold that gives powerful shape to his narrative voice. (Age 16-adult)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

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