By Gary Soto,

Book cover of Jesse

Book description

In this new edition of his first young adult novel, Gary Soto paints a moving portrait of seventeen-year-old Jesse, who has left his parents' home to live with his older brother. These Mexican American brothers hope junior college will help them escape their heritage of tedious physical labor. Their struggles…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Jesse as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In 2014, I was on the Phoenix Award Committee of the Children’s Literature Association, given to a book published twenty years prior that didn’t get a major award when it first came out. We decided to give the Phoenix to Jesse, published in 1994 by Gary Soto, about a seventeen-year-old who works in the fields with his brother while putting himself through junior college. I love the book for all the reasons in the committee’s description: "Jesse is both a coming-of-age story of one Mexican-American boy with a poetic sensibility and the story of a community and a…

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