Eat, Leo! Eat!

Leo wants no part of sitting down with his family to eat Nonna’s big, delizioso lunch every Sunday. “I’m not hungry,” he insists. Not hungry? Hmm. Clever Nonna gets an idea. She’ll use a story to lure Leo to her table. And since the pasta in her soup, called stelline (little stars), is woven into the story about a boy who journeys to his grandmother’s at night, it works. But again on the following Sunday, Leo doesn’t want to eat. So Nonna expands her story, this time adding some chiancaredde (paving stones), the name of the pasta she’s serving that day, to create a path for her character to follow. Now Leo’s hooked.

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.