A Really Good Brown Girl

Marilyn Dumont’s Metis heritage offers her challenges that few of us welcome. Here she turns them to opportunities in a voice that is fierce, direct, and true, she explores and transcends the multiple boundaries imposed by society on the self. She mocks, with exasperation and sly humour, the banal exploitation of Indianness, more-Indian-than-thou oneupmanship, and white condescension and ignorance. She celebrates the person, clearly observing, who defines her own life. These are Indian poems, Canadian poems, human poems.

Petty Crimes

Meet Manuel, a young man who wears hand-me-downs from his older brothers until he finally gets a brand-new pair of shoes. And Jose Luis, who watches the vet bills rise after he buys a sick rooster to save it from becoming someone’s dinner. And Alma, a young woman who runs to every shop and flea market in town buying back the clothes of her dead mother that her father has given away. These Mexican American youths meet life’s challenges head-on in this hard-hitting collection of short stories.

First Day in Grapes (Pura Belpre Honor Book. Illustrator (Awards))

All year long, Chico’s family moves up and down the state of California to pick fruits and vegetables. Every September, Chico starts at a new school. Often, the other kids pick on him — maybe because he’s always new, or maybe because he speaks Spanish sometimes. But third grade promises to be different. He likes his teacher, and she recognizes his excellent abilities in math — he may even get to go to the math fair! When some fourth-grade bullies tease him, he surprises them with strengths of his own.

Reaching Out

The author describes the many challenges he faced as the son of Mexican American migrant workers during his quest to continue his education and become an academic success, overcoming poverty, family turmoil, guilt, and self-doubt.

This book is a sequel to The Circuit (1997) and Breaking Through (2001), which covered Mexican-born Jiménez’s childhood.