The Jumping Tree by Rene Saldana Jr.
A Novel

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These lively stories follow Rey Castaneda from sixth through eighth grade in Nuevo Penitas, Texas. One side of Rey's family lives nearby in Mexico, the other half in Texas, and Rey fits in on both sides of the border. In Nuevo Penitas, he enjoys fooling around with his pals in the barrio; at school, he's one of the "A list" kids.

As Rey begins to cross the border from childhood into manhood, he turns from jokes and games to sense the meaning of work, love, poverty, and grief, and what it means to be a proud Chicano-moments that sometimes propel him to show feelings un hombre should never express. It's a new territory where Rey longs to follow the example his hardworking, loving father has set for him.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Rene Saldana Jr.

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René Saldaña, Jr. is the author of The Jumping Tree. He currently teaches English and writing at the university level in south Texas. The author lives in Edinburgh, TX.
Published April 23, 2009 by Laurel Leaf. 194 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Jumping Tree

Kirkus Reviews

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In “The Jumping Tree” chapter, Rey breaks his wrist by jumping from a huge mesquite tree in response to a dare from his cousins, then wears his cast as a badge of courage.

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The New York Times

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Running through these episodes -- like the blending of Spanish and English and the rhythm of his father's incessant, worrying, late-night pacing -- are Rey's growing respect for his father and his emerging questions about what it means to be a man in a poor community that values machismo.

Sep 16 2001 | Read Full Review of The Jumping Tree: A Novel

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