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They Call Me Güero

A Border Kid's Poems

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An award-winning novel in verse about a boy who navigates the start of seventh grade and life growing up on the border the only way that feels right—through poetry.

They call him Güero because of his red hair, pale skin, and freckles. Sometimes people only go off of what they see. Like the Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez, twelve-year-old Güero is puro mexicano. He feels at home on both sides of the river, speaking Spanish or English. Güero is also a reader, gamer, and musician who runs with a squad of misfits called Los Bobbys. Together, they joke around and talk about their expanding world, which now includes girls. (Don’t cross Joanna—she's tough as nails.)
 
Güero faces the start of seventh grade with heart and smarts, his family’s traditions, and his trusty accordion. And when life gets tough for this Mexican American border kid, he knows what to do: He writes poetry. 
 
Honoring multiple poetic traditions, They Call Me Güero is a classic in the making and the recipient of a Pura Belpré Honor, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, a Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, and a Walter Dean Myers Honor.
DAVID BOWLES grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He’s the author of several award-winning titles, including They Call Me Güero, The Smoking Mirror, the 13th Street series, and Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico. His picture book debut, My Two Border Towns, is available in English and Spanish. In 2020, David co-founded #DignidadLiteraria, a grassroots activist hashtag and movement dedicated to promoting equity for Latinx people in publishing. View titles by David Bowles

About

An award-winning novel in verse about a boy who navigates the start of seventh grade and life growing up on the border the only way that feels right—through poetry.

They call him Güero because of his red hair, pale skin, and freckles. Sometimes people only go off of what they see. Like the Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez, twelve-year-old Güero is puro mexicano. He feels at home on both sides of the river, speaking Spanish or English. Güero is also a reader, gamer, and musician who runs with a squad of misfits called Los Bobbys. Together, they joke around and talk about their expanding world, which now includes girls. (Don’t cross Joanna—she's tough as nails.)
 
Güero faces the start of seventh grade with heart and smarts, his family’s traditions, and his trusty accordion. And when life gets tough for this Mexican American border kid, he knows what to do: He writes poetry. 
 
Honoring multiple poetic traditions, They Call Me Güero is a classic in the making and the recipient of a Pura Belpré Honor, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, a Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, and a Walter Dean Myers Honor.

Author

DAVID BOWLES grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He’s the author of several award-winning titles, including They Call Me Güero, The Smoking Mirror, the 13th Street series, and Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico. His picture book debut, My Two Border Towns, is available in English and Spanish. In 2020, David co-founded #DignidadLiteraria, a grassroots activist hashtag and movement dedicated to promoting equity for Latinx people in publishing. View titles by David Bowles

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