From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.
Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?
Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.
Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming books. An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos from a Beautiful World.
Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow Book List, and Jumpstart the World was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013, and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.
More than fifty of her short stories have been published in the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other journals and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories, California Shorts, and New York Times bestseller Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for the O. Henry Award and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.
She is the founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, spoken at Cornell University twice, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.
For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at www.catherineryanhyde.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful story Raymond, a 17 year old bi-racial teen, that cant figure out where he belongs. He doesn’t fit with his white Mom, his white uninvolved stepfather, or his three half sisters, although he connects somewhat with the younger. His father doesn’t even look at him and talks little, while his step mother wants no part of him. His only friend moved to California. Then his 92 year old blind neighbor, Mrs G, reaches out to him, and he finds the connection that has been missing from his life, as he sets out to find Luis Velez. Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my top authors and she didn’t disappoint with this poignant story. It is about loneliness, the desire to be loved and valued, the satisfaction that comes with helping someone and the realization that self love matters. As usual this author’s characters are likable, well other than a few of his family members. I loved this book and appreciate the ARC I received from Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley. Another hit from CRH!
I read every book of Catherine Ryan Hyde that I can get my hands on. This is one of my favorites. Have You Seen Luis Velez is a story of kindness, loss, sadness, joy, and so many other emotions. The subjects addressed in this book are so timely. I think that reading this book together with a teenager and having discussions about difficult topics would be a gift to both parties. I rarely highlight passages in books but this book is filled with underlined sentences and thoughts that I hope to remember for a long time. Read this book!
Catherine Ryan Hyde, Author of “Have You Seen Luis Velez” has written a unique, enthralling, emotional, intriguing, captivating and heartwarming novel. The Genre for this story is Fiction. This is also a Beautiful Coming of Age Story. I love everything about this wonderful book. Catherine Ryan Hyde is an amazing storyteller, and her vivid and colorful descriptions of her characters and the landscape are so realistic. The story takes place in and around New York City. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex and complicated. Raymond Jaffe, 17 years old feels like an outcast in his family. His best friend is moving away, and his other friend is a kitten that he rescues. He is in his building when an older woman asks him if he or anyone has seen Luis Velez? As Raymond is speaking to Mildred Gutermann, who is 92 years old and blind, he realizes she has no caretaker. Raymond starts helping Mildred and is looking for Luis Velez, who had been helping Mildred. Meanwhile, Raymond and Mildred are becoming good friends. It seems there are a number of Luis Velez’s’ in the phone book. Raymond goes and visits some of them. There are some interesting encounters, but Raymond has yet to find the correct Luis Velez. I appreciate that Catherine Ryan Hyde discusses the importance of kindness and friendship. Also discussed are the different prejudices and biases that are based on wealth and poverty, and religion and race. The author writes about love, acceptance, friendship, family, kindness, love, and hope. I highly recommend this amazing book.
This was a delightful read! The unexpected friendship between a 17-year old boy and a 92-year old blind woman is so heartwarming and emotional. Reading this story makes you realize that there really is no age, gender, or social status barrier when it comes to real friendship. I really enjoyed both main characters, and I connected with each one of them even though they were so different from each other. This novel can be a great read for all ages, but I think it would be a meaningful read for young adults. This story will make you smile, cry, and it will make you angry at times, but that is what makes it a great story. Thank you NetGalley for great read!
Have you seen Luis Velez?, is a thoughtful, heartfelt, and moving story. Most of the time, seventeen-year-old Raymond Jaffe felt like an outcast. But, when Raymond met his 92-year-old blind neighbor and befriended her; tormenting thoughts of being different or invisible, no longer concerned him. At first, Raymond assisted the elderly woman out of kindness, but Raymond quickly discovered, that he enjoyed her company. With Mrs. G, Raymond felt for the first time by an adult, understood. And because of his fondness for his neighbor, Raymond was determined to relieve her of her main worry. He wanted to find Luis Velez; Mrs. G’s dearest friend and caretaker. Mrs. G feared that something awful had happened to Luis. Unfortunately, she was right. Although Raymond learned some painful life lessons; he also discovered the healing balm of acceptance. It was while he was stepping out of his comfort zone, to help another, that self-confidence took root. And, while empathizing with Mrs. G, Raymond found that he was able to stand up for what was right, without fear. But, what surprised Raymond, the most was, that he no longer, felt invisible, especially around his family. Although unkindness is rampant in the world, there is also a lot of good. Sometimes grief and hardship overshadow what is positive in life. This book reminds us that although life is difficult, love and kindness can be found everywhere. Raymond thought of himself as unimportant. But, to Mrs. G, Raymond was a hero. He literally changed her life, and in doing so, transformed his own. Have You Seen Luis Velez?, is a heartwarming, quality novel. It’s a story you won’t want to miss. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.