Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Day in Grapes

Perez, L. (2002). First day in grapes. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc.
This book is a 2004 Pura Belpre Honor book.

First Day in Grapes gives you a glimpse into the life of a migrant child and the feelings he has as he tries to adapt to a new community.  Each new community is named for the crop that is being harvested, hence the title of the book. The whole focus of the book is on Chico and his first day at a new school.   I thought the book was a sweet story and showed  that meeting life head on is often times the best approach.  The illustrations helped to establish the mood of the story, showing the emotions in the characters faces.  I especially liked the way the author tied in Chico's mom making him stand up straight and him connecting that later in the story to having courage as he faced a bully.  As a reader, you couldn't help but hope, for Chico's sake, that the family would get to stay in Grapes long enough for him to feel like he belonged.  A simple yet thoughtful book.

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