It Doesn't Have To Be This Way/No Tiene Que Ser Asi: A Barrio Story/Una Historia Del Barrio

It Doesn't Have To Be This Way/No Tiene Que Ser Asi: A Barrio Story/Una Historia Del Barrio

It Doesn't Have to Be This Way/No tiene que ser asi: A Barrio Story/Una historia del barrio

Monchi likes to write poems, hang out with his cousin, and tell stories to his uncle. Then one day, a member of the local gang tells him it's time to join up. Monchi is scared but excited. The older boys give him the handshake, girls talk to him, and even teachers are afraid of him. But when a tragic event changes everything, Monchi must make an important decision. There is no easy answer to his dilemma, but the love and respect of his uncle help him find a way out. Written in both English and Spanish, It Doesn't Have to Be This Way is a compelling tale of a young boy's encounter with the world of gangs.

From Publishers Weekly
Monchi, the 10-year-old narrator of Rodr!guez's (Am?rica Is Her Name) well-intentioned if oversimplified cautionary tale, describes his encounter with a gang. When Clever, Monchi's neighbor and a gang member, announces, "It's about time you joined the Pee Wees," Monchi is gratified that the older boy "wanted to be friends and wasn't going to hurt me." Thus, he accepts the invitation,...

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