Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

lastsummer Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Francisco X. Stork
Arthur A. Levine
March 2010
344 pgs.

Summary (from library)
Seventeen-year-old Pancho is bent on avenging the senseless death of his sister, but after he meets D.Q, who is dying of cancer, and Marisol, one of D.Q.'s caregivers, both boys find their lives changed by their interactions.

My Thoughts
Why should you become a Death Warrior? So you can live and die with truth and courage, and because life is too painful when you're wasteful with the time given to you.
This is the fifth principal in what is to become the Death Warrior Manifesto.  The Manifesto teaches you how to live life with arms wide open, grasping everything, missing nothing.  But Pancho doesn't really care about that.  His manifesto hinges on finding the guy that killed his sister and making sure he makes the guy pay.  In the meantime, the anger inside makes him want to hit things.  So he searches for trouble.  He is, in many ways, Daniel Quentin's, DQ's, opposite.  He wants to live his life underneath the radar.  He figures he'll off the guy and then go to jail. Beyond that, nothing matters.

He's assigned to help DQ and goes to Albuquerque with him as DQ undergoes treatment for brain cancer.  Pancho knows he can find his sister's killer there so he's happy to go.  "He didn't have anything personal against his sister's killer. Unless you consider hatred personal."

While in Albuquerque Pancho starts helping out at the center where he meets Marisol and Josie.  He also gets thrown in the middle of DQ and Helen, DQ's mom.  But, nothing changes his mind.  He has a job to do.

One of my favorite reads so far this year! It can be used both in the classroom and as a book club pick because there are many things to discuss - The Death Warrior as a metaphor, paradox, simile, having students write their own manifestos, boxing as an allegory, faith, meaning of love... so much!  I actually liked this one more than Marcelo in the Real World.  It's a quiet book that grabs you in the heart.  Loved it. 4 copies.

Other Reviews
TheHappyNappy Bookseller
Shelf Elf

1 comment:

  1. I loved Marcelo in the Real World, so will definitely have to read this one. Thanks for the review.


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