Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida

Parrot in the Oven: Mi VidaWinner of the 1996 National Book Award for Young People s Fiction, Parrot in the Oven Mi Vida is less a sweeping traditional novel and a series of short character sketches The poetic style, though beautiful and intriguing, leaves the reader feeling confused and disjointed, though this may be the point Living in a poor Mexican American project in California, Manny Hernandez attempts to navigate the minefield that is his life just as the reader attempts to navigate the short vignettes Son to a violent, unemployed alcoholic father, Manny watches helplessly as he begins to view his family through a new, honest lens His family s struggle to become than just the typical, poor Mexican American teen and become reflections of the difficulties facing families everywhere The events of the book are heavy material, including the death of a grandmother, abuse by parents, a sister s miscarriage, and Manuel s flirtation with gang life In the end, the reader is left unsettled Does Manny become worth than pennies and the vato firme respected guy he longs to become Then again, perhaps this feeling of unsettling confusion is exactly what the reader needs to finally fully relate to Manny s difficult existence Further, readers should be prepared for a decidedly negative depiction of gavachos a derogatory term for white people numerous instances of extreme violence and frequent swearing, both in English and Spanish These inclusions, however, give the book a realness and rawness that engage the reader and help establish the vast frustration facing the entire family as they attempt to figuratively rise to something just beyond their reach. 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 PenniesFourteen Year Old Manny Hernandez Wants To Be 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 AwayIn 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 I will be teaching this novel to 8th grade struggling readers this year, on the recommendation of a teacher friend of mine.At first, I was less than impressed Now that I think about it though, that might be because I have been living in dystopian YA fiction for awhile and am used to starting a book with a dramatic event like a choosing But as the story progressed, I found I liked the main character and , and I found that the rhythm of his life is much like the students I teach When he is focused on his family, everything is about his family When he is focused on his friends, it s all about the friends I think this is exactly what it s like to be teen I m very curious how my students will react to this novel Parrot in the Oven a novel written by Victor Martinez, talks about the life of Manny Hernandez who lives a tough life Manny has a jobless and drunk father An older brother named Nardo who who never could find the right job for himself A mother who cared about him and wanted father to find a job An older sister named Magda and a younger one named Pedi Then there are some other characters such as the Garcia brothers, grandma and Frankie This story s main setting took place in the projects where Manny and his family live Other settings include the school, the hospital, and grandma s house.Manny s goal in this story is to gain respect however he falls in the company of the wrong people and joins a gang Manny realizes that this gang leads him through nothing but trouble Other than respect Manny s desire was to have a baseball glove of his own so he works at the Chilli field to help himself save up money.Now throghout this story there were many major events such as how father wanted to kill mother, how Magda was miscarriaged, and how the gang almost got Manny in trouble towards the end of this story This story was a fiction book which I gave a four out of five The reason for this was that it was very interesting with a great storyline however whenever an interesting part came up such as how father chased mom with a gun they didn t really explain the part good and ended moving right away to another topic which made the book kind of boring to some extent Overall I thought this book was a really good book and I would recommend it to anyone. In the book Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez, Manny the main character, lives a hard life All Manny wants is some respect, and where he lives it is not all that easy Manny considers joining the Vato Firme a local gang that he s introduced to But he s not sure if thats the best idea Manny knows joining the gang could bring trouble There are many important characters in this book starting with Mann s mom Who does not have a job and is constantly working around her house Next, there is Manny s dad who does not have a job because he was recently fired from his job as a translator because he drank beer during his lunch breaks and would slur his words Than there was Manny s brother Bernardo or as they call him Nardo Nardo had many jobs but never seemed to show up or really do his job Next there are some boys there is Frankie, the Garcia brothers, Mondo and his half brother Eddit, and Gody The setting of this book is in Mexico a hot area where Manny grows up Manny lives in a town where he can walk most places Another place Manny goes is the Chili field, where they pick peppers Manny goes with Nardo so he can earn money for a baseball glove that he really wants.The genre of this book is Fiction, this is also my favorite genre so I enjoyed this book a lot.I liked this book because the genre it has is my favorite Also I liked the story line of this book how all Manny wanted respect just like most kids growing up so it is easy to relate to and how Manny would do anything for some respect I would give this book a three out of five as a rating. Hm, feels a bit unfinished Had a lot of creative descriptions But also had an abrupt and choppy flow, which was annoying I felt the story could have been organized better. Kind of bland, and it doesn t really go anywhere as there s no real narrative But it s interesting enough and it kept my attention, so that s saying something. It is safe enough to say that Parrot in the Oven Mi Vida is now one of my favorite books This book is something different than what I usually enjoy reading but a little change does not hurt I enjoyed reading the whole book and watching the main character, Manny, develop into the strong independent person he turns out to be in the end I liked how the author wrote out the plot because this book was relatabe The issues Manny faced which were poverty, abuse, and cultural discrimination are relatable because many people face those issues everyday These issues helped shape Manny into the character he ends up being in the end I liked how each character was placed in the book and what they did is what many people do today for example having an abusive father, feisty siblings, and etc There were many themes in the book, but I think the one that stood out to me was the one about family Many people gave family issues but no matter what, they are still family and they will never leave I would honestly read this book again because I really did enjoy reading this. Stylistically similar to Gary Soto, but without Soto s flair The pervasive use of figurative language throughout the book is very heavy handed, and at times feels like a student exercise than a literary work The main character has no real arc there s no noticeable development to track This would make sense in a true autobiography or memoir, which the book seems to want to be But in a work of fiction it s unsatisfying. 2nd time reading great book tons of figurative language

Victor Martinez was born and raised in Fresno, California, the fourth in a family of twelve children He attended California State University at Fresno and Stanford University, and has worked as a field laborer, welder, truck driver, firefighter, teacher, and office clerk His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies Mr Martinez was awarded the 1996 National

[BOOKS] ✯ Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida Author Victor Martinez –
  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida
  • Victor Martinez
  • English
  • 07 January 2017
  • 9780064471862

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