Barely Missing Everything (Large Print / Library Binding)
Raw, gritty and acutely tuned to his community, Matt Mendez' debut blends authenticity with poignancy, heartbreak with heartfelt, this emotionally true contemporary story about 2 El Paso teens and a mom of one of the boys, will keep you riveted and engaged. Comparisons to Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena and Angie Thomas are accurate but Mendez is a break out star to be watched. This wallop of a tale should be handed to high school kids en masse.
— From Staff Picks by Maureen
"There are moments when a story shakes you...Barely Missing Everything is one of those stories, and Mendez, a gifted storyteller with a distinct voice, is sure to bring a quake to the literary landscape." --Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of Long Way Down In the tradition of Jason Reynolds and Matt de la Pe a, this heartbreaking, no-holds-barred debut novel told from three points of view explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you--your life, brown lives--don't matter. Juan has plans. He's going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself--or at least find something better than his mom Fabi's cruddy apartment, her string of loser boyfriends, and a dead dad. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen. His best friend JD has plans, too. He's going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He's got a camera and he's got passion--what else could he need? Fabi doesn't have a plan anymore. When you get pregnant at sixteen and have been stuck bartending to make ends meet for the past seventeen years, you realize plans don't always pan out, and that there some things you just can't plan for... Like Juan's run-in with the police, like a sprained ankle, and a tanking math grade that will likely ruin his chance at a scholarship. Like JD causing the implosion of his family. Like letters from a man named Mando on death row. Like finding out this man could be the father your mother said was dead. Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise--like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can't plan for...
This book is a delight! It serves a great role as a perfect segue book for those kids who love reading graphic novels, but need to try reading chapter books as well! I’ve loved Kenneth Oppel’s books since I was a kid, and he continues to deliver treasures that are original and unique. Inkling follows Ethan, whose father used to be a very successful comic artist, and now Ethan struggles with his legacy, but things are shaken up when a little ink blot, an inkling, comes to life from his father’s work!! This book is at once charming and touching, and full of bits of chuckle-inducing humor and heart. Inkling is packed with illustrations too, which make it even more fun for those that love art or graphic novels! After Inkling, whenever I see an ink blot or an ink stain, I gasp and think, “IT’S AN INKLING!!”
(Middle Grade, ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel