When Dad Came Back

When Dad Came Back

by Gary Soto
     
 

Gabe Mendoza is off to the library when his long-absent father appears—and looks to be homeless. His father wants to reestablish a relationship, but thirteen-year-old Gabe is hesitant. He’s confused. And his Mom is mad. Should Gabe allow his father back into his life, or keep his distance? Can Gabe’s dad, with all his failings, clean up his act?

Overview

Gabe Mendoza is off to the library when his long-absent father appears—and looks to be homeless. His father wants to reestablish a relationship, but thirteen-year-old Gabe is hesitant. He’s confused. And his Mom is mad. Should Gabe allow his father back into his life, or keep his distance? Can Gabe’s dad, with all his failings, clean up his act?

This powerful novella by bestselling author Gary Soto will ring true to kids—and grown-ups—who can relate to the everyday challenges of one-parent home life. Soto’s strong voice and poignant characters will draw you into Gabe’s world and the decisions that will change his life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As usual for Soto, the setting is as vividly drawn as any of the characters, and there's an everyday quality to the incidents shaping the plotline that invites recognition and identification from readers.”—Booklist
Children's Literature - Heidi Quist
Gabe Mendoza has not seen his father since he walked out on Gabe and his mom three years ago. But now he is showing up at the library, at Gabe's baseball practices and games, and other random places all the time—hoping to talk to his son. To make matters worse, he is homeless and looks the part, so having him around seems only to encourage the neighborhood bullies who already do not like Gabe. Naturally, at first Gabe is troubled, does not want to acknowledge him, and tries to avoid his father. He tells his mom, and she feels similarly, desiring no contact with her ex-husband. In a separate story line, Gabe receives some unexpected help from a local man who trains bulldogs to protect their homes, and Gabe finds himself with a new pal. But life complicates itself again when his favorite bully steals the puppy. Eventually, through some help from the police, a little clever maneuvering, and his own softening heart, Gabe finds himself becoming more comfortable with his dad, and gets his puppy back. With the story's setting in a somewhat troubled neighborhood in Fresno, California, some young readers might be frightened by some story events. I found myself troubled by some of the circumstances that apparently some young boys in this part of the country must confront. Young Latino boys will particularly appreciate this story and all will learn a bit of compassion as they follow Gabe through his daily decisions. Reviewer: Heidi Quist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611682113
Publisher:
University Press of New England
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
152
Sales rank:
912,494
File size:
400 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

James Blasingame
"Once again, Gary Soto takes us on a tour of the back streets of Fresno, California, where life can be dangerous and complicated for a thirteen-year-old boy like Gabe Mendoza. From backbreaking manual labor on his uncle's farm to trading blows with aspiring gang members, Gabe's typical day is anything but boring. The most difficult problem he faces, however, is navigating his relationship with his father, a recovering alcoholic who has returned to Fresno after abandoning his family only to live homeless in vacant lots and overpasses. But a good friend, a lucky break, and a new canine companion will give Gabe just enough help to make it through in good form. This new ebook from one of our favorite authors will have readers begging for the next chapter in the life of Gabe Mendoza."

Meet the Author

GARY SOTO’s books have sold more than three million copies and are well-known in classrooms throughout the country. His poem “Oranges” is the most anthologized poem in contemporary literature. He has received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the PEN West Award for Petty Crimes, and the Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College. www.GarySoto.com

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