Monday, February 27, 2017

Book of the Week: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Published by Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017
464 pages
ISBN: 978-0-544-58650-5
Age 13 and older

High school senior Sal(vador) Silva was 3 when his mom died. Adopted by Vicente, his mom’s best friend, the love between father and son is palpable. Sal’s best friend, Sam(antha) Diaz, has a single mom so wrapped up in her own life that Sam feels like an afterthought. Sal’s friend Fito works two jobs to save money for college and to escape his family of addicts. Sal has a good life and he knows it. So why is he suddenly full of rage? He lashes out even before he learns that Mima, his grandmother, is dying. Mima means the world to Sal, his dad, and their extended Mexican American family, in which it’s never mattered that Sal is white. Sal worries his instinct to respond with his fists—to a whispered a slur about his dad, who is gay, or to a boy who treats Sam badly—is a trait from the birth father he’s never known or cared to find out about. It makes the letter his dad has given him, which his mom wrote for him before she died, too scary to open. Several explosive events disrupt the shifting currents of daily life in a deeply felt story graced with moments of humor. Exquisitely realized and genuine, it’s about living and struggling and loss and regret. It’s about changing relationships and growing up and friendshp. It’s about the power of language. Above all, it’s about expansiveness of the words “love” and “family.” ©2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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