Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish (Hardcover)
Marcus Vega may look like the average bully - large, silent, and overwhelming - but inside he is just a boy too big for the quiet kids and too small to fill the shoes of his absent father. Marcus is suspended from school for protecting his brother from a bully and decides his time off would be better spent searching for answers from his father in Puerto Rico. A fast-paced journey of self-discovery about the role of family, friendship, and home. Perfect for 10 to 14.
— From Staff Picks by Jessica— Jessica
One boy's search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle-grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos.
Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target.
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island.
So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.
About the Author
Pablo Cartaya's novels explore identity, place, and the spaces in between. His debut novel about a boy standing up for his community, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, received three starred reviews and is a 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. When Pablo isn't writing, he's spending time with his family or dreaming of his next visit to Puerto Rico. Learn more about Pablo at pablocartaya.com and follow him on Twitter @phcartaya.
PRAISE FOR MARCUS VEGA DOESN'T SPEAK SPANISH:
*"Excellent." --School Library Journal, starred review
*"An ideal read for boys or reluctant readers." --School Library Connection, starred review
"A compelling read about the meaning of family, identity, and culture." --Kirkus Reviews
"Thoughtful and thought provoking." --Booklist
"Cartaya's follow-up to 2018 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (rev. 7/17) shines." --Horn Book
PRAISE FOR THE EPIC FAIL OF ARTURO ZAMORA:
*"Irresistibly exquisite."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"At turns funny, beautiful, and heartbreaking."--Booklist, starred review
*"A vibrant debut novel about family, friendship, and community."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
With a gentleness of wit, emotion and spot-on humor, Schmidt brings to life 6th grader Carter Jones as he navigates a tough time in his life, with the help of one Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, who drives an eggplant-hued Bentley and gives advice, both needed and not wanted, as the Jones' family new butler. Interspersed with cricket references - "the finest game in the world" - wonderful and enlightened vocabulary fit for a proper gentleman, Schmidt tackles grief and abandonment with his signature insight, lightness and heart. As the butler says to his charges "make good decisions and remember who you are" -- Carter Jones' story will stay with you for a very long time. Highly recommended! - Maureen