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A Reader’s Guide to Gary Soto’s Taking Sides

Series: Multicultural Literature

By Jen Jones Donatelli

On the surface, TAKING SIDES appears to be a novel with a simple plot: What happens when a junior high basketball player essentially goes from rags to riches. Yet the plotlines in the book also deal with bigger issues, such as divorce, cultural differences, poverty, and violence. Indeed, TAKING SIDES has truly resonated with all types of audiences across backgrounds of age and ethnicity.

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Library Ed.978-0-7660-3168-5$34.27$25.70

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Reviews

"The guide is especially helpful for classrooms that may be less diverse than others."

Children's Literature

"These guides to selected multicultural works of fiction are geared to the high school student engaged in the study of great literature classics in the classroom. Their work is considered in the context of each author's biographical background, and links are established between life events and the authors' writing. Literary devices and techniques are explained in relationship to the work being discussed."

MultiCultural Review, Fall 2010

"Both of these guides to literature . . . will be extremely helpful to middle or high school teachers who wish to introduce their students to contemporary multicultural fiction . . ."

Catholic Library World, March 2011

"Students of literature will appreciate these dense but useful discussions of notable titles popular with young adult audiences."

The Horn Book Guide, Fall 2010

"These excellent books analyze works of literature, describe the cultural contexts in which they are set, and provide biographical information."

School Library Journal, August 2010

"This series provides an accessible introduction to literary criticism for novels currently studied in many high schools . . . a definite purchase for those schools that have adopted these works as part of the curriculum."

Library Media Connection, May/June 2010

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