Bless Me, Ultima

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Bless Me, Ultima
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
January 01, 1972
ISBN
0446600253
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Exquisite prose and wondrous storytelling have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English. Indeed, Anaya's tales fairly shimmer with the haunting beauty and richness of his culture. The winner of the Pen Center West Award for Fiction for his unforgettable novel Alburquerque, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller, Bless Me, Ultima... Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world...and will nurture the birth of his soul.

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Bless Me, Ultima
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Lea

In Bless Me, Ultima, Ultima comes to live with Antonio and his family, as she is getting to old to live on her own. This novel is about Antonio's coming of age. He's torn between being what his parents want; a free man roaming the land, or a priest. Through Ultima, he comes to learn more about himself and religion. This was one of the best novels I've read in school, because it keeps you thinking about the ideas Antonio thinks about.
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aww this book is soo great and so very sad! but i absolutely love it!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Liz

Oh my goodness this book was one of the saddest books i have ever read. The poor little boy goes through so much and at such a young age. The book is about many hardships a little boy goes through and about a strange curandera(healing person, kind of like a nurse except without the drugs instead uses herbs) named Ultima that somewhat changes the life of this small boy, she is a great person that teaches many things, they become close friends. This story is just too great to explain, the author is one of the best people on earth! This book is just so well written! I recommend to ages 12 and up.
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Thought Provoking
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by ambeen

Rudolfo Anaya crafted a beautiful novel with Bless Me, Ultima. It is about a young boy, Antonio, who faces much tragedy in his young life and how he comes to terms with it all. The theme of God and if there is one is also a question Antonio continuously asks. Guided by Ultima and a few other friends, Antonio makes his journey from young boy to man. I highly recommend this novel. It will really make you think and question what even you believe while you take the journey with Antonio.
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Different type of magic
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Riney

Note: I read this for school, hence, my rating could not be quite as high! ^^

Bless Me, Ultima is a story about a young boy Tony and his experiences with his grandmother/medicine woman sort of lady. Tony's childhood is full of magic, that of nature and that of the herbs that Ultima uses. And with that magic, comes a darkness and evil that only Ultima can destroy. Along the way, Tony deals with going to school and being discriminated for his latin-american heritage, and it also deals with Tony's acceptance of his own heritage.

Bless Me, Ultima is quite interesting and fun to read. Just note that there are several usages of Spanish cuss words so it might be better not to have little kids read it.
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Very interesting
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Bookworm9

"Bless Me, Ultima" is a very strange book, mixing reality and myth and exploring deep religious questions, all during the course of young Antonio's coming-of-age. The youngest son of a Hispanic American family at the end of World War Two, young Tony is torn between the desires of his wandering father and those of his pious mother, who wishes him to become a priest. Added to the mix is the arrival of Umtima, an elderly friend of the family who is called a witch by some and has strong healing powers. It is she who ultimately brings out Tony's true self, and answers some of the boy's questions while causing him to wonder over many more.

A mixture of magic realism, realistic school boy shenanigans (the scene with the Christmas pagent literally had me laughing out loud), and tragic drama, "Bless Me, Ultima" defies traditional labels but should be read by anyone who enjoys a good story!
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