The closest I've come / Fred Aceves.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Marcos Rivas is desperate to escape the projects, his neglectful mother, and her abusive boyfriend, but when he is picked for a class at his high school targeting smart students who are underperforming, he initially resists.
    • Notes:
      Text in English.
    • Other Titles:
      Closest I have come.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2017 October #2

Marcos Rivas is an inner-city kid stuck with a bad home situation and no apparent way out, even through school, where he's a high-school sophomore. He's got some good friends he plays basketball with, but that's the highlight. That is, until the new principal enrolls him in a mentorship program, along with a few other kids nominated by their teachers as students with great potential but poor grades. Marcos begins to think that maybe he's not so alone. Aceves' debut draws some inspiration from his own experiences growing up in a similar community as Marcos, and expertly tells a success story that'll have readers cheering by the end. Marcos' point of view is one certainly shared by other kids his age who are taught to keep their feelings inside, or to solve their problems with violence. Here's a novel about that kid readers all know—or are themselves—who deserves to have a shot at life, and hopes that good choices and hard work from friends can get him there. An inspirational read. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring

Marcos Rivas wants to escape his inner-city neighborhood and abusive home life, so he jumps at the chance to attend Future Success, an afterschool class to help underachievers become achievers. As his home situation worsens, Marcos learns that education can be the answer to his problems, but that he needs to take the first step. Marcoss contemporary-teen language rings true, and his experiences are authentic. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

PW Reviews 2017 October #2

In a poor neighborhood in central Tampa, Fla., sophomore Marcos Rivas is more worried about avoiding his mother's abusive, racist boyfriend than about getting good grades. But he also yearns to escape poverty and maybe even get a date with Amy, a classmate with blue-streaked hair and a no-nonsense attitude ("All my life I've seen how couples match, in skin or style, and then I get a crush on a white girl who listens to punk"). Aceves sets his first novel in a vividly described community plagued by the familiar demons of addiction, crime, and abuse, as well as rampant racism. Marcos's narration springs to life as he struggles with complex problems. His best friend is dealing drugs, and his mother—who was 16 when she became pregnant—doesn't really know how to take care of herself, much less him. Through new friends in Marcos's after-school program, he realizes that he isn't alone, an epiphany that permeates the balance of the novel. It's a memorable, hard-hitting portrait of a teenager trying to shape his own destiny after being dealt a difficult hand. Ages 14–up. Agent: Louise Fury, Bent Agency. (Nov.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.