Fearless Fernie by Gary Soto
Hanging Out with Fernie & Me

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For Fernie and his best friend, the fun begins when they are babies who crawl across the lawn towards each other, away from their parents' watchful eyes. And once they find each other, they are inseparable.

Together, they grow to be the self-proclaimed artistic geniuses and master athletes of their school. But they do admit to being losers at spelling bees and camping out. And when it comes to romance, well, if waltzing with a broom in the kitchen or sporting glowing orange socks to a school dance counts, these guys are cool.

Gary Soto's original poems and Regan Dunnick's clever illustrations will spark recognition in all middle-schoolers who've gone through the humiliation of sports try-outs and first dances; who've had to deal with body images and swinging moods. Each of the poems in this book shows a scene from their sometimes difficult, sometimes comical lives growing up together as best friends. Even though they don't have everything in common, they both know that at least they're in it together.

About Gary Soto

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Gary Soto was born April 12, 1952, and raised in Fresno California. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended Fresno City College, graduating in 1974 with an English degree. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including The Nation, Plouqhshares, The Iowa Review, Ontario Review and Poetry, which has honored him with the Bess Hokin Prize and the Levinson Award and by featuring him in Poets in Person. He is one of the youngest poets to appear in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Soto has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize, the U.S. Award of the International Poetry Forum, The California Library Association's John and Patricia Beatty Award twice, a Recogniton of Merit from the Claremont Graduate School for Baseball in April, the Silver Medal from The Commonwealth Club of California, and the Tomás Rivera Prize, in addition to fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts twice, and the California Arts Council. For ITVS, he produced the film The Pool Party, which received the 1993 Andrew Carnegie Medal. Soto wrote the libretto for an opera titled Nerd-landia for the The Los Angeles Opera. In 1999 he received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association, and the PEN Center West Book Award for Petty Crimes. He serves as Young People's Ambassador for the California Rural Legal Assistance and the United Farm Workers of America. Soto is the author of ten poetry collections for adults, with New and Selected Poems a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His recollections Living Up the Street received a Before Columbus Foundation 1985 American Book Award. Kathy Shaskan lives in Morristown, New Jersey. This is her first book for children. Regan Dunnick teaches art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
Published March 18, 2002 by Putnam Juvenile. 64 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fearless Fernie

Kirkus Reviews

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Capable as ever of making common childhood experiences marvelous, Soto (Baseball in April, 2000, etc.) poetically delineates a fast friendship between a never-named observer and his irrepressible buddy Fernie.

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Publishers Weekly

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Gary Soto explores a friendship forged at birth and the adolescent growing pains of two middle school boys in Body Parts in Rebellion: Hanging Out with Fernie and Me, illus.

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