English / USA
They call me Güero. A border kid’s poems
El Paso, Texas: Cinco Puntos Press, . – 111 p.
Mexican American | Bilingualism | Cultural roots | Bullying | Racism | Poetry | Verse novel
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2019
Life can be difficult to navigate for someone like Güero, a Mexican American boy, growing up close to the Mexican border. A light-skinned kid (hence the Mexican nickname) with red hair and freckles, Güero is a bit of a nerd who loves chatting about his favourite books with his best friends, the three Bobbys – whom his sister has termed “los Derds”, i.e. “Diverse Nerds”. Occasionally, he gets into trouble for some mischief, he is repeatedly saved from bullies by his tough new girlfriend Joanna, and he discovers the power and fun of poetry. Using a variety of poetic forms, Güero talks about his daily life, about his family and their wider community, about rich traditions, and about everything that defines him as “a border kid, a foot on either bank.” Written in an authentic voice interspersed with many Spanish words and sentences, the heartfelt texts in David Bowles’s slim volume offer captivating glimpses into the ups and downs of living in a bilingual and multicultural environment.