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Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

By: Pablo Cartaya

Eighth grader and gentle giant Marcus travels to Puerto Rico with his mom and his disabled brother, where they search for Marcus’s long-lost dad.

ISBN: 9781101997260

JLG Release: Oct 2018


Other Formats Available from JLG


Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Discrimination: Disability, Medical: Graphic Descriptions
Topics: Families , Puerto Ricans , Down syndrome , People with mental disabilities , Middle schools , Puerto Rico , Hispanic and Latino

$7.50  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Fiction for Children
School Library Journal Best Books - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book Magazine, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Horn Book

Fourteen-year-old “gentle giant” Marcus Vega is devoted to his mom and younger brother, Charlie, who has Down syndrome. One of the ways he “helps out” is earning extra cash by charging kids at school protection money to keep them safe from the real bullies. But when one of those bullies calls Charlie “retarded,” Marcus uses his immense Fourteen-year-old “gentle giant” Marcus Vega is devoted to his mom and younger brother, Charlie, who has Down syndrome. One of the ways he “helps out” is earning extra cash by charging kids at school protection money to keep them safe from the real bullies. But when one of those bullies calls Charlie “retarded,” Marcus uses his immense strength to put the bully in his place. The fallout from Marcus’s violent act leads to his suspension from school and a family crisis. Marcus’s mother decides the family needs a week in Puerto Rico, where Marcus was born and where his absentee father’s relatives still live, to figure things out. Spending time with his extended family and traveling across the Puerto Rican countryside (pre–2017’s devastating hurricanes, per an introductory author’s note) open the young man’s eyes to his heritage. As his cultural bonds tighten, Marcus gains a new understanding of his mother’s struggles and his own important roles as both son and older brother. Cartaya’s follow-up to 2018 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (rev. 7/17) shines in its small moments examining Puerto Rico’s unique locales through the eyes of the Vegas. A middle-grade and middle-school travelogue and heartfelt intergenerational story with wide appeal. eric carpenter

Book Details

ISBN

9781101997260

First Release

October 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

272

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.9; Points: 6;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 13;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Discrimination: Disability, Medical: Graphic Descriptions

Topics

Families, Puerto Ricans, Down syndrome, People with mental disabilities, Middle schools, Puerto Rico, Hispanic and Latino,

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