Pacific Crossing
Pacific Crossing

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Annotation: Fourteen-year-old Mexican American Lincoln Mendoza spends a summer with a host family in Japan, encountering new experiences and making new friends.
Catalog Number: #228163
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Harcourt
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition Date: 1992
Pages: 134 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 0-15-204696-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-35359-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-15-204696-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-35359-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 91046909
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this sequel to Taking Sides , Soto writes about open minds, not closed ones, as he turns once more to multicultural themes. Lincoln Mendoza, now happily out of the suburbs, is selected for a summer exchange program to Japan, where he will continue the martial arts training he began in San Francisco. Lincoln discovers that Mr. and Mrs. Ono and their son, Mitsuo--his host family--are congenial guardians and as eager to learn about the U.S. and his Mexican American heritage as 14-year-old Lincoln is to learn about Japan. Their cultural collisions are affable and gently humorous, as when Lincoln, who's not a good cook, prepares frijoles for his family, and when he visits the sento a men's public bath, for the first time. The episodic plot is not particularly dramatic, except for one incident, when Lincoln, who can't drive, must rush an ailing Mr. Ono to the hospital. It's the language that seems to punch things up: Soto uses a heroic combination of contemporary American slang (fresh, bad) and Spanish and Japanese terms likely to have readers making good use of the book's two glossaries. Yet the strange word mix works more often than not; the story, though slight, is warm and winning; and its setting is strikingly authentic. (Reviewed Nov. 1, 1992)
Horn Book
In this steadily paced sequel to 'Taking Sides' (Harcourt), Lincoln Mendoza and Tony Contreras, almost-eighth graders from the barrio in San Francisco, participate in a summer-exchange program in Japan because of their mutual interest in the martial art of 'shorinji kempo'. Lincoln develops a warm relationship with his host family and refines his own thinking while trying to explain to his hosts what it is like to be Mexican American.
Kirkus Reviews
Lincoln Mendoza makes new friends when he flies to Japan as part of a summer exchange program. Soto smoothes Lincoln's path: the money is easily raised; the Chicano teenager is intelligent, eager to please; and he adapts easily to life on a small Japanese farm (it reminds him of the migrant labor stories his relatives tell) and to practicing a martial art, embracing Japanese customs, and sharing his own with his friendly temporary family. Soto salts the text with Spanish and Japanese terms, defined in context and in glossaries at the end. A pleasant, easygoing story about sharing cultures, like David Klass's Breakaway Run (1987) but without the complication of a stressful family situation. (Fiction. 10-13)"
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- Mexican-Americans Lincoln and Tony, both 14, are chosen as exchange students for a summer in Japan. They reside with different families and the focus is on Lincoln, with Tony appearing only when a sounding board is needed. The boys prepare a botched Mexican meal for their hosts, and Lincoln saves his host family's father's life by driving, unlicensed, to a hospital. Other than these episodes, little happens in what is essentially a novel of manners contrasting cultural mores. The writing is very good, often elegant, and the point of view is in keeping with a 14-year-old. The text contains many words and phrases in Spanish and Japanese, set off in italics and defined in separate glossaries. Unfortunately, this becomes distracting and often vexing, slowing down an already uneventful narrative. Readers will wonder just what is the lingua franca between the boys and their hosts. All of the Japanese exhibit a complete mastery of English, a nearly universal proficiency that is never explained. Though not without interest, the story is too languid and linguistically confusing to hold the attention of this age group. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Pub. Lib.
Word Count: 27,000
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 29228 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.1 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q08844
Lexile: 750L
Guided Reading Level: T
Fountas & Pinnell: T

In Japan for the summer to practice the martial art of kempo, Lincoln sometimes feels like little more than a brown boy in a white gi . Yet with the help of his Japanese brother, Mitsuo, Lincoln sees that people everywhere, whether friend or kempo opponent, share passions much like his own--for baseball, family traditions, and new friendships.

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