My Best Friend, Tony Santos: Meeting a Portuguese-American Family

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-- In this entry in the series, Ben learns about the customs and foods of his Portuguese-American friend, Tony. In six brief chapters, trick-or-treating is equated with a similar Portuguese custom called pao-por-Deus ; Ben spends Christmas Eve with Tony and has a traditional Portuguese meal; Carnaval is planned for; the boys take a trip to the Portuguese embassy and another trip to the family fishing boat in New Bedford, Mass.; and Tony's Uncle Victor becomes a U.S. citizen. Told in the first person by nine-year-old Ben, the style is awkwardly didactic. Too much explaining of foreign customs is done at the expense of characterization to make this good fiction, yet too much fictionalizing takes place for this to be a believable source of fact. The characters seem unreal, having had the life sanitized out of them. A glossary is appended to provide the pronounciation and meaning of Portuguese words italicized in the text. Each chapter is illustrated with a pleasant representational pencil drawing that does much to enliven the whole. There is a need for children's books that provide appreciative introductions to foreign cultures, but to be credible, they need to be less heavy handed than this story. --Cynthia Bishop, Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, N.Y. NONFICTION
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671637064
  • Publisher: Silver Burdett Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1988
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years

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