by Louanne Johnson
Back in the day when I was in middle school a movie came out called Dangerous Minds; which was about a teacher with unconventional approaches to teaching and how she reached her students. The movie also had a killer soundtrack featuring Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio . Dangerous Minds was based on a book by LouAnne Johnson called My Posse Don’t Do Homework. Which brings me to Muchacho, LouAnne Johnson’s most recent realistic fiction book.
I picked Muchacho up to try something different and I was sort of reluctant to start it, but I did eventually. I’m really glad I did because it was a pretty good book. Reading or listening to the book is like sitting down and having a conversation with the main character Eddie. Eddie is living in New Mexico and attends Bright Horizons alternative school. Eddie’s future could go one of two ways; he finishes high school or he becomes a fully fledged juvenile delinquent, which some people have already pegged him as. Luckily- Eddie has supportive parents, teachers who inspire him and he also meets Lupe who makes he want to do more with his life than just finish high school. Eddie’s story bounces around a bit focusing on different events or memories- part it really feels like Eddies story complete with the language and situations (drugs, crime etc) he and other people in his life sometimes find themselves involved in- but the message in the book while it’s endearing seems more like it coming directly from the author. Find out what that message is and how Eddie’s choices change his future in Muchacho.