They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems
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Release Date
August 24, 2021
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An award-winning novel in verse about a boy who navigates the start of seventh grade and life growing up on the border the only way that feels right—through poetry.

They call him Güero because of his red hair, pale skin, and freckles. Sometimes people only go off of what they see. Like the Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez, twelve-year-old Güero is puro mexicano. He feels at home on both sides of the river, speaking Spanish or English. Güero is also a reader, gamer, and musician who runs with a squad of misfits called Los Bobbys. Together, they joke around and talk about their expanding world, which now includes girls. (Don’t cross Joanna—she's tough as nails.)
Güero faces the start of seventh grade with heart and smarts, his family’s traditions, and his trusty accordion. And when life gets tough for this Mexican American border kid, he knows what to do: He writes poetry. 

Editor review

1 review
They Call Me Güero
(Updated: September 15, 2022)
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What worked: I love books in verse. They Call Me Güero introduces readers to Güero, a light skinned twelve-year-old Mexican American boy. He navigates seventh grade and his life with poetry.

There's so much to love about this novel. This generation's Gary Soto. Only this novel shows a young boy who straddles both sides of the border. Moving and powerful writing is shown with it's portrayal of Güero's love of his family; nerdy friends; his culture; and the tough, but sweet Fregona. There's also a poem about the loss of a beloved pet and how he stood up to the school bully through poetry. And finally, one huge strength of this novel has to be Güero's great love of his father and the sadness he feels for a friend whose father left him.

One poem that really stood out to me had to be this one:

'Yo bullies; lero, lero
I'm the mero Güero
a real cachuatero,
peanuts and chile
all up in this cuero,
this piel, this skin-
it's white, that's true
but I'm just as Mexican
as you and you and you.'

I love how this authentic depiction of a young Mexican-American boy's life is shown through the power of verse. At the back of the book is a glossary with the translated Spanish, though most readers will be able to understand the words by the way the poetry is written.

Beautifully written, powerful story of a young Mexican-American boy told in verse as he navigates seventh grade and his life. Highly recommend to fans of Latinx books and to those who love diversity in novels.
Good Points
1. This generation's Gary Soto
2. Moving portrayal of a young Mexican-American boy in the seventh grade
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