Don't Call Me Hero by Ray Villareal

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Rawly Sanchez’s life sucks. It’s another Friday night, and he’s struggling with his algebra homework in his mom’s Mexican restaurant, which is also on the brink of failure. Ever since his dad died, his mother has had to work twice as hard. And starting next Saturday, algebra tutoring classes will mean he won’t get to see his brother Jaime, who’s in prison.

His whole life takes a turn for the better when he rescues a young woman, who happens to be a famous model, from a flooded creek. The dramatic rescue is caught on tape by a local news crew and soon Rawly is being hailed as a hero. Suddenly, every reporter in town wants to interview him. His mom is sure all the publicity will be good for the restaurant … and maybe the girl’s family will offer a financial reward!

Rawly doesn’t want to demand money for saving someone’s life, but he has to admit it is nice that kids who avoided him in the past now want to hang out with him. It’s impossible to resist the popular quarterback’s invitation to “have a good time,” even if it means ditching his best friend. And best of all, Miyoko, the most beautiful girl in school, wants to go out with him. But, do they really like him? Or do they just want to take advantage of his new-found fame?

Acclaimed author and educator Ray Villareal once again writes a fast-paced novel for teens that will raise questions about the value of celebrity and true friendship. Spotlighting teens’ interest in comic books and super heroes, even the most reluctant readers will be sucked in.

Praise for the work of Ray Villareal:

MY FATHER, THE ANGEL OF DEATH was nominated to the Texas Library Association’s 2008-2009 Lone Star Reading List and named to The New York Public Library’s 2007 Books for the Teen Age.

“This wonderfully moving novel alternates between humor, tenderness, and insight about what it means and takes to become a man.” – KLIATT on MY FATHER, THE ANGEL OF DEATH

“This story is written in a high-interest, low-reading-level style that makes it a perfect title for kids with reading-motivation issues …. its appeal to its intended audience should be a smack-down.”

“Villareal takes on several important themes including illegal immigration, bullying, parent/teacher relationships, and bilingualism. Ultimately, many of the characters-and readers-learn that there can be more than one truth, more than one point of view.”

“A solid glimpse at seventh-grade life from a writer who understands the age—biography reports, friendships made and lost, crushes, misbehavior and, sometimes quiet heroism. This story of three Latino boys with Stephen King–ish imaginations ought to find a wide audience.”

About Ray Villareal

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Ray Villareal is the author of My Father, the Angel of Death (Pinata Books, 2006) and Alamo Wars (Pinata Books, 2008). He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Bilingual Education and a Master of Liberal Arts. He lives in Dallas, Texas, where he teaches in the Dallas Independent School District.
Published February 3, 2012 by Arte Público Press. 240 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Instantly, Rawly is on the local and national news, hailed as a hero for saving Nikki’s life.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Call Me Hero

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