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Barely Missing Everything (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


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

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

Description


“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 Peña, 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 Quentin 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 are 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…

About the Author


Like his characters, Matt Mendez grew up in central El Paso, Texas. He received an MFA from the University of Arizona and is the author of the short story collection Twitching Heart. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Tucson, Arizona. Barely Missing Everything is his debut young adult novel. You can visit him at MattMendez.com.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781534404465
ISBN-10: 1534404465
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English

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Staff Picks

Welcome to Doodleville, everyone!!! This beloved author, Chad Sell, brings us to his next fabulous graphic novel, Doodleville, which grabs the reader, heart and soul!! Doodleville brings us into a normal school, to a normal group of kids, in a normal art club.....except that these kids' doodles come alive!!! Drew loves her doodles dearly, but when one of her doodles goes rogue and hurts the other student's characters, she is wisked away on an adventure that teaches her so much: the complexities of friendship, the strength that lies in trusting yourself, and the power of working together with friends that can save the day!! Chad Sell's trademark combo of fun, vibrant artwork and deeply emotional and human storytelling makes you smile throughout, and reminds you that "being different can make you powerful." Sell's work is also a perfect example of representation as it should be: people of all types existing together, just like in real life. And while having a blast visiting Doodleville, you may even learn a bit of art history! No matter what, you'll surely be smiling till the very last page.
 
 
(Graphic Novel, Ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel