Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power

Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power

by Victor Villasenor
     
 

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These are the stories of Victor Villaseñor's childhood. Magical, yet true, they are fables of endurance, defeat and triumph, spirituality, and, always, of love. Handed down through the generations, the Villase-or's have been telling these family tales for years. Now, Victor shares them with his unmistakable storyteller style, complete with beautiful imagery

Overview

These are the stories of Victor Villaseñor's childhood. Magical, yet true, they are fables of endurance, defeat and triumph, spirituality, and, always, of love. Handed down through the generations, the Villase-or's have been telling these family tales for years. Now, Victor shares them with his unmistakable storyteller style, complete with beautiful imagery and timeless significance.

Set against the backdrop of the Mexican revolution and his family's migration to the United States, these stories feature a cast of unforgettable characters who have in common their perseverance and courage. They encounter the supernatural, escape persecution by rebel soldiers, endure hunger, thirst and physical stress, and ultimately, transcend their circumstances to achieve their dreams. They are indeed walking stars.

Victor Villaseñor works his magic once again with these extraordinary stories.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Legend and fact coexist happily in this spiritually rich collection of stories, which pungently combines elements from Native American folktales, Bible stories, Mexican political history and the experiences of the author and his Mexican family. On the one hand, Villaseor (Rain of Gold) finds literal as well as metaphorical truth in a Mexican octogenarian's statement that ``we all are walking stars.... And we all come from the heavens!'' On the other, he describes his father's boyhood confrontation with ``La Bruja,'' the town witch, a lesson about the hazards of assuming magical powers that do not exist. Still other entries here include a disconcertingly convincing story of a difficult birth; a rousing tale of a boy's desperate race against the train carrying his family away from their Mexican village to the United States; a mystical account of a dog's loyalty to a dying master. The power of this collection is somewhat diluted by the author's notes that follow each story; these recapitulate the themes of the fiction in overeager and artless tones. Such intrusions aside, this literary collage is both original and moving. Ages 11-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
A dog that howls and runs off when it's master dies in a hospital miles away, and a huge, fearless snake that attacks a man on horseback, may sound farfetched, even impossible to us, but Villasenor explains how these and many other fascinating events happened to him an his family. Most of these true stories, which are adapted from his longer adult book, Rain of Gold, do not really deal with the super-natural so much as instill in the reader an appreciation for the struggles and challenges met and overcome by the author's parents in Revolutionary Mexico. The book is divided into sections about himself, in California and Mexico, his mother, and his father, who lived through harrowing events during the Revolution. Other members of his family, especially his two grandmothers, emerge as admirable strong, resilient women. Each story is followed by an author's note, in which he explains what the story means to him and the lessons it could teach to young readers. Because of violence and mature subjects, the book is most appropriate for young adults.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-12-Villaseor has ably employed figurative language and lively dialogue in these magical stories told to him by relatives or based on his experiences in Mexico and southern California. These eventful tales cover subjects such as the courageous inspiration of heroism, the pain of childbirth, and what happens to the soul after death; underlying all of them is the author's joy in all that life has to offer and respect for his family and the Indian/Spanish heritage that forms the core of their lives. At the end of each story, he offers a brief explanation of the circumstances surrounding it and its influence on him. Some of the scenes in these selections are not only filled with exciting action, but are also graphic, as in the one about a young mother's difficult childbirth. This book is especially appropriate for Hispanic readers, who will learn about the mysticism that is engrained in their culture, but all YAs will celebrate the protagonists' courage, spirit, and sense of humor.-Phyllis Graves, Creekwood Middle School, Kingwood, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385316545
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.23(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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