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Extended Audio Sample Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz Narrator: Robert Ramirez Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The “Hollywood” where Sammy Santos and Juliana Rios live is not the West Coast one, the one with all the glitz and glitter. This Hollywood is a tough barrio at the edge of a small town in southern New Mexico. Sammy and his friends, members of the 1969 high school graduating class, face a world of racism, dress codes, war in Vietnam, and barrio violence.

In the summer before his senior year begins, Sammy falls in love with Juliana, a girl whose tough veneer disguises a world of hurt. By summer’s end, Juliana is dead. Sammy grieves; the memory of Juliana becomes his guide through the difficult year ahead. Sammy is a smart kid, but he’s angry. He’s angry about Juliana’s death, he’s angry about the poverty his father and sister must endure, he’s angry at his high school and its thinly disguised gringo racism, and he’s angry he might not be able to go to college.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, evoking the bittersweet ambience found in such novels as McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, captures the essence of what it meant to grow up Chicano in small-town America in the late 1960s.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A powerful and authentic look at a community’s aspirations and the tragic losses that result from shattered dreams.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Honest and heartfelt, this is an extraordinary book.”

    El Paso Times

  • A 2005 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Fiction
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