Parrot in the Oven - Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva's book review

Title: Parrot in the Oven
Author: Victor Martinez
ISBN: 978-0064471862
Publication Date: 2004
Publisher: Rayo; Reprint edition
Paperback: 224 pages
List Price: $8.99
Book Description: Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand-dollar person or a hundred-dollar person — even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were pennies.

Fourteen-year-old Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But that′s not easy when your father is abusive, your brother can′t hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can wash her troubles away.

In Manny′s neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang. But Manny′s not sure that joining a gang is the solution. Because, after all, it′s his life — and he wants to be the one to decide what happens to it.

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva writes book review for Parrot in the Oven

Book Review: Parrot in the Oven follows teenage Manny and his complicated, yet somewhat troubled life. The father has lost his job which has prompted him to drink more and become more abusive – all of which drive Manny into the wrong direction.

Manny believes that they only way to find respect in his neighborhood is by joining a gang. Despite the good people in his life – his younger sister Pedi and his old history teacher, Mr. Hart – Manny still tests his courage by joining the gang later in chapter ten. Fortunately, at the end of the book, Manny discovers that his home and his life is where he should be.

This book covers some controversial topics such as: gun control, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, gang initiation, immigration, and domestic violence – all of which add to the diversity of the story. I really enjoyed the symbolism and metaphoric phrases used to describe the father’s drinking problem and the brother’s inability to keep a job. The vocabulary in this book is appropriate for students at the high school level.

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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


A summary and review of A Raisin in the Sun

Title: A Raisin in the Sun
Author: Lorraine Hansberry
ISBN: 978-0679601722
Publication Date: 1995
Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library edition
Hardcover: 176 pages
List Price: $15.95
Book Description: “Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage,” observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959.

Indeed Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America–and changed American theater forever. The play’s title comes from a line in Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem,” which warns that a dream deferred might “dry up/like a raisin in the sun.”

“The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun,” said The New York Times. “It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic.” This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry’s landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.

book review of a raisin in the sun

Book Review: Dreams are often delayed and in some cases ignored which causes our inner anger to rise and skew our look on life. A Raisin in the Sun is based upon the poem “Harlem” also known as “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes which posses the question, What happens to a dream deferred?

The Younger family receives an insurance check for $10,000 which provides hope of one day owning a home and leaving the life of poverty. Mama, the head of the family, purchases a home in an all white community – where this African American family is not wanted. This decision infuriates Walter Lee and causes him to berate his wife and ignore his child. Out of love and sympathy for her son, Mama gives the remainder of the money to Walter Lee to manage, but instead, he loses it to a bad investment deal. This buries a seed of bitterness inside of him causing his negativity to escalate. Out of anger, Walter Lee attempts to sell the house back – only to make matters worse. In the end, Walter Lee decides not to sell the house back and realizes that the love and respect from his family is greater than his love for money.

This novel is used among many high school teachers due to its message and family structure. This book is great for thematic units and teaches kids about the importance of family and how to conquer conflict when it arises in our home. This book proves that the love of your family is far greater than money, fortune, or fame. It also addresses the notion that dreams are often deferred and if we let them sit out in the sun for too long, it can dry up just like a raisin in the sun.

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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


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