The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
(Pura Belpre Medal Book Narrative (Awards))

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Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio in McAllen, Texas, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Dia de los Muertos, preparing for quinceañera, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It’s a different mundo, but one where Sofia’s traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Viola Canales

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Viola Canales is the author of Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (Arte Publico Press). She lives in Stanford, California.
Published December 18, 2007 by Wendy Lamb Books. 210 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Sofia, growing up in an urban Latino neighborhood in McAllen, Texas, has a chance to attend an expensive boarding school in Austin on scholarship.

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Publishers Weekly

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Readers may well feel unprepared for both a death at novel's end and Sofia's out-of-the-blue neighborhood activism—but the characters are real and engaging, the vignettes funny and enlightening, and Sofia's lack of cynicism is refreshing.

Nov 21 2005 | Read Full Review of The Tequila Worm (Pura Belpre...

BC Books

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The tradition of storytellers is one that is so precious and necessary in our culture that it was a deep pleasure to see how important it was in this book.

Apr 12 2007 | Read Full Review of The Tequila Worm (Pura Belpre...

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Common Sense Media

When she wins a scholarship to an Episcopal boarding school hundreds of miles away her family is reluctant to let her go, but determined to keep her tied firmly to her roots when she does.

Jan 26 2006 | Read Full Review of The Tequila Worm (Pura Belpre...

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