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Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida (1996)

Author: Martinez, Victor Publisher: Rayo/HarperCollins
Number of pages: 224 pages

Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand-dollar person or a hundred-dollar person -- even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were pennies. Fourteen-year-old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But that2s not easy when your father is abusive, your brother can2t hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can wash her troubles away. In Manny2s neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang. But Manny2s not sure that joining a gang is the solution. Because, after all, it2s his life -- and he wants to be the one to decide what happens to it.

ISBN 13: 978-0064471862
Reading Level (grade): 6.1