Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Prizefighter en mi Casa

Prizefighter en mi Casa

Fall 2006 Fiction
Ages: 10 - 12 yrs.
Author: e. E. Charlton-Trujillo
ISBN: 0-385-73325-9
Hardcover Price: $15.95
Chula Sanchez wished her parents hadn’t decided against naming her Esperanza. “'Cause Chula means pretty and there ain’t nothing pretty ‘bout me now.” Pape was driving drunk when he and Chula crashed. With the head of the household now paralyzed and unable to work, and Chula scarred with a disfigured face and the onset of epilepsy, the Sanchez family is struggling to make ends meet. Humiliated but still determined, Pape is convinced that El Jefe, the most revered prizefighter in Mexico, is their ticket to financial salvation.

Deftly written, author e. E. Charlton-Trujillo gives life and sadness, hope and despair to a Mexican family living in a small town in south Texas. Via Chula we meet Mama “who was in one of those moods again where she cursed the saints she’d be praying to later;” Abuela, “sometimes she’d get to looking too distant from us and closer to God;” fourteen-year old brother Richie “who used to make straight As, but he flunked the 8th grade and now we’re both in junior high at the same time;” and of course El Jefe de Diablo, the Boss of the Devil, upon whom Pape said the people in Mexico City splashed “prayers and holy water, chanting his name when he walked down the street. Even the priest sat with the crowds in the most famous arena in Mexico, Diablo de Ojo, with a betting ticket in one palm, the rosary in the other.”

As readers will learn, neither El Jefe, nor Chula are who or what they appear to be.

Claire Green   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Claire is president of Parents' Choice Foundation and cofounder of Sandbox Summit®. She looks for toys and media that will unleash children's interests, and celebrate the fun of learning.

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