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Mi Barrio (SmarterComics Series)
     

Mi Barrio (SmarterComics Series)

5.0 1
by Robert Renteria, Corey Blake, Shane Clester (Illustrator)
 

Don't let where you came from dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become. Successful entrepreneur Robert Renteria grew up sleeping in a dresser drawer. This hard-hitting comic memoir traces Robert's life from a childhood of poverty and abuse in one of the poorest areas of East Los Angeles, to his emergence as a business owner and civic leader today.

Overview

Don't let where you came from dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become. Successful entrepreneur Robert Renteria grew up sleeping in a dresser drawer. This hard-hitting comic memoir traces Robert's life from a childhood of poverty and abuse in one of the poorest areas of East Los Angeles, to his emergence as a business owner and civic leader today.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This inspirational title, produced by the business books–into–comics outfit Smarter Comics, adapts businessman Renteria's 2008 memoir about his hard-knock life into a punchy, easy-to-digest story. Renteria grew up with a single mother in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood during the 1970s, where he did everything that should have gotten him killed: running with gangs, selling drugs, the works. A stint in the military straightened him out, but didn't provide many prospects for employment. After knocking around in Chicago, Renteria convinced the owner of a laundry sales company to take a chance on him. Cut to years later, and Renteria is a wealthy salesman who has started his own company and now also mentors and lectures about getting out of the ghetto grind (his quick answer: hard work). Clester's art is more highly accomplished than is usually seen in true-life graphic adaptations, and while Renteria's tendency to gloss over the details can leave his story feeling sketchy at times, it's a work whose hard-won sense of hopefulness outweighs any hint of preachiness. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"“Mi Barrio,” which is based on the book, “From the Barrio to the Board Room,” was impossible to put down; it’s as compelling as any Superman comic."— BNET.com

"Mi Barrio is a book crafted lovingly with a specific audience in mind: disenfranchised children and undereducated people with a desire to make more from their life. Sometimes it takes a little push to get people moving, especially in a society where the average person doesn’t read a single book in a year. Releasing a story like this in comic form is an excellent idea.It’s important that this book is straightforward and simple. Studies have shown that comics help encourage literacy among children. And literacy is a key factor in success in life, with direct correlation to income levels.Mi Barrio hopes to be a gateway, a doorway to both the world of comics and into one person’s success story.It won’t inspire everyone (and sometimes a jaded critic like myself needs to step back and consider his own questioning) but it stands a good chance of helping those who need it most." — TradeReadingOrder.com

2011 bronze medal winner of Independent Publisher Book Awards

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610660006
Publisher:
Writers Of The Round Table Press
Publication date:
08/16/2010
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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Mi Barrio (SmarterComics Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
When Robert was born he was brought home to a spartan, roach infested apartment where he was placed in a dresser drawer for safekeeping. His parents were "factory laborers," who had little to offer him. Even the food they ate was cooked on a hot plate. His mother struggled to survive after her husband left and cleaning toilets was certainly not beneath her. After pawning and selling everything of value to support his drug addiction, the only legacy he left his wife and child was a pile of bills and empty booze bottles. When Robert's mother became too pregnant to work, an eviction notice forced them to move in with his grandparents. East Los Angeles was not the most desirable place to raise children, but she had no choice. Robert's new home had love, but he had to sleep in the basement "on a dirty, smelly mattress on the floor." Even as a five-year-old he knew how to work and collected soda bottles, bottles that would provide a bit of money to help out his mother. For a while there were those food stamps, but he was grateful for anything he had. There were "lots of beans and tortillas" that made their way onto the table. Beans, beans, and more beans, but hey, beans and weenies aren't that bad are they? There was one bad thing and that was the accident. When he was six-years-old a carnival ride smashed his skull in. He'd survived everything else, but this was serious. The doctor claimed that "he could be mentally challenged or a vegetable," but Robert was not the type of boy to give up. He struggled, he worked hard on his physical therapy . there was no way anything or anyone could dampen his spirit. The road to recovery was long and his challenges seemed never ending. He even had a drunken stepfather who used him "as a punching bag." Robert worked several jobs when he was a teenager, but dropped out of school and "ran with a bunch of guys who only wanted to drink and party." His loving grandfather bluntly said to him, "You are just running your life in circles, like a dog chasing its tail. You have an opportunity to be anything you want in life." He asked him to leave L.A. Could a kid from the barrio ever amount to anything? He knew the meaning of hard work, but was it enough? Would anyone take a chance on him? This fascinating graphic novel is based on the book, From the Barrio to the Board Room. Told in a down-to-earth, conversational style it has a few lessons to impart to its young readership, but is not at all preachy. According to Renteria, it really doesn't matter where you come from if you truly want to succeed in life. The preface to the book has one simple sentence that sums up what he wishes to say to his audience: "Don't let where you come from dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become." This biographical novel would be best suited as a teaching tool in a homeschool or classroom setting where it can be read and discussed. It is more than a rags to riches business book in that Mr. Renteria truly wants to reach out to all young people in an effort to show them they too are worth more than what their environment dictates they should be. The black and white artwork is superb and meshes perfectly with the tale, a tale that will resonate with all young people who want to make something of themselves. Quill says: If you want a graphic novel that teaches your young adult or students about the value of hard work and entrepreneurship, this is one you should definitely add to your list!