Rooster Joe and the Bully  = El Gallo Joe y el abuson
Rooster Joe and the Bully = El Gallo Joe y el abuson
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Annotation: Seventh-grader Joe Lopez, a promising artist, stands up to a bully and survives, thanks to his Grandpa Jesse's advice about "la lucha." A bilingual flip book with Garza's black and white sketches depicting bullies, heroes, and the roosters that Joe loves to draw.
Catalog Number: #5848158
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 64, 66 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-558-85835-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-558-85835-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016025266
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA Booklist
Standing up to bullies is never easy, but Joe and his best friend Gary will need confront Martin if they hope to survive seventh grade. Joe is a talented young artist with a knack for standing up for those that cannot defend themselves. That's exactly how he ends up being a target of Martin's rage. Joe's grandfather teaches him that unity is the key to bringing down thugs like this, just as Cesar Chavez rallied the farm workers to stand up against injustice. Joe looks to his art to give him the strength he needs to rally his peers against bullying. Young middle-grade readers will be enthralled by the story Garza creates. The narrative is accessible and brief enough to read in a sitting, and its black-and-white sketches complement Joe's desire to be an artist. Designed as a bilingual "flip book," the story appears in Spanish immediately following the English version. Consider pairing with Pam Muñoz Ryan's The Dreamer (2010) for another illustrated story of a Hispanic boy exploring his artistry.
Kirkus Reviews
After observing the roosters in his artist grandpa’s backyard, seventh-grader Joe López can’t get enough of these indomitable avians. His sketchbook is filled with them, and soon his art teacher encourages him to enter one of his pieces in the county fair, but he is distracted by a girl from his past, Kiki, and the school bully. Kiki supports his creativity and backs him up when he decides to emulate the courage of a rooster and finally confront Martín. Things take a turn for the worse, however, as his nemesis swears revenge on Joe for foiling a lunch-money shakedown. Grandpa Jessie teaches Joe about the power of standing his ground, and when the students unite against their tormentor, he runs away and everyone cheers for “Rooster Joe.” Garza’s bold, black-and-white illustrations reflect the age level of both the protagonists and the target audience—preteen Latino boys. This bilingual chapter book (organized into English and Spanish halves) aspires to be inspirational and empowering, but it comes across as plodding and didactic. The voice vacillates between middle schooler and adult: “there are rules in middle school and what [Gary] is suggesting is just plain taboo. A seventh grade boy has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting an eighth-grader to be his girlfriend.” In addition, Joe’s narration is constantly sidelined by hard-to-chew chunks of preachy exposition. The story lacks focus, and the message’s delivery is heavy-handed. Garza’s Maximillian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel is a far superior effort. Well-meaning but a miss. (Fiction. 10-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;8&12; Joe Lopez loves to draw, and when his new art teacher notices his sketchbook full of rooster drawings, she suggests he enter a painting in the county fair. As he is thinking about the possibility of becoming as great an artist as his grandfather, he notices the bully Martin Corona trying to force classmate Luis to give him five dollars. When Joe intervenes, Martin transfers his bullying to Joe, picking on him in the bathroom and shoving him and his friend Kiki at a football game. As events begin to escalate, Joe receives good advice from his grandfather, who tells him that one person can make a difference. Joe's classmates join him in standing up to Martin once and for all. Black-and-white illustrations accompany this short flip book, which contains the complete text in English and Spanish. The author adeptly depicts the feelings students sometimes have when trying to decide whether to tell on a bully. While the plot at times seems disconnected, the ending resolves all the issues presented. VERDICT A good addition to middle grade collections, especially where Garza's previous books are enjoyed.&12; Selenia Paz, Helen Hall Library, League City, TX
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (8/1/16)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (10/1/16)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 630L

This short novel for intermediate readers by acclaimed author and artist Xavier Garza features a seventh-grade boy juggling his desire to be an artist as successful as his grandfather, the need to escape a bully intent on taking him down and his interest in a new girl at school.

Rooster Joe and the bully
El gallo Joe y el abuson.

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