Book Review





Jose Antonio Villarreal


Doubleday and Company, Inc, New York NY



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

October, 2001



Pocho is the story of the Rubio family, a Mexican immigrant  family in central California during the early part of the 20th century. The  story focuses on Richard Rubio, the only son of Juan Rubio, and his memories  from childhood through adolescence.

Get more information about Pocho at Barnes and NobleThe  story begins with a short description of life in Mexico for Juan Rubio and why  he decided to come to America. The birth of Richard was a special occasion for the Rubio family since every other child had been a girl, and this first son  satisfied Juan's desire for an heir to the Rubio name. As Richard grows, he  finds the world a confusing place with cultural, religious, and sexual pressures tugging from all directions. He becomes trapped between his parents longing  for a better life and their dream of returning to their native country, a country with which he is unfamiliar. The story culminates with the advent of the Second World War and its profound impact on the relationships of the youths in the story.

This story provides the reader a glimpse inside the life of the migrant workers of this era and their beliefs, dreams and aspirations  as seen through the eyes of a child. The rich dialogs and interactions of the  Rubio family give this story a personal feel as if the reader is actually there.  Another feature that makes this book interesting is the intercultural interactions that occur between the children of diverse ethnic groups that live and play in the Rubios' neighborhood.

Pocho transports the reader to another time, place and culture as seen through a child's eye. It is an interesting boy-to-a-man story from  the era of the early 20th century.

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