Off and Running by Gary Soto

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Synopsis

The biggest race of the school year is on! Fifth-grader Miata Ramirez is running for class president. Her best friend, Ana, is her running mate. The girls are stunned when they learn they are running against class clown Rudy Herrera and his friend Alex.

At first Miata is certain she will win the election. She has big plans to make the school a better place. She'll clean up the graffiti, plant flowers and trees, and get computers.

Rudy's confident he'll get votes by promising longer recess periods and selling the students ice cream every day.

Miata is serious and means business. But the boys are funnier and louder. The girls think if they quickly change their image, they'll get those extra votes. But the election is just a few days away.

Readers will catch election fever as the boys square off against the girls in Gary Soto's latest novel featuring Miata Ramirez from The Skirt and Rudy Herrera from The Pool Party.

 

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. Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, "Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else.
 
Published August 1, 1996 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 136 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Off and Running

Publishers Weekly

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A fifth-grade election at a Latino school in California pits a pair of earnest girls against a pair of clownish boys. Characters from Soto's The Skirt, The Pool Party and Boys at Work reappear here. A

Nov 03 1997 | Read Full Review of Off and Running

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