Tony Johnston is the author of nearly 100 picture books and early readers, including The Iguana Brothers, illustrated by Mark Teague. Her first novel, Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio, was named an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, an IRA Notable Book for a Global Security, and a Judy Lopez Memorial Honor Book. It was also awarded the first annual Southern California Booksellers' Association Children's Book Award. Ms. Johnston lives in California with her husband.
Gr 4-7-This novel set in East Los Angeles provides a glimpse of the daily life of an extended Mexican-American family rich in relationships, if not in material possessions. Rather than a linear plot, the vignettes introduce readers to 11-year-old Arturo's family, school life, neighborhood occurrences, and holiday celebrations. Spanish words and phrases are sprinkled throughout as are descriptions of mouth-watering dishes constantly prepared by the boy's Mami and Abuelita. The characters are likable and warm, even if the voice of Arturo seems to be a bit too adult for his years. The message is positive and the episodes, while occasionally serious, are more often humorous and gratifying.-Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.