The Afterlife

   The Afterlife by Gary Soto grabs the reluctant reader in the first few pages with the story of Chuy who is stabbed, dies, and becomes the ghostly protagonist of this compelling story.  As Chuy struggles to find the significance of his life and watches his family come to terms with his violent end, he meets the lovely Crystal, also recently deceased.  I read this story with junior high students who “HATE to read” but they were quickly drawn into Chuy’s search for understanding and the question of whether his death would be avenged. 

The author of this book, Gary Soto, is a favorite of bilingual and reluctant readers.  With his short stories, his conspiratorial definitions of Spanish swear words, and his ability to draw from his own experiences as a youth growing up in Fresno, California he captures the reader’s interest quickly, with humor and insight.  His collection of short stories, Local News: Stories, is also sure to charm and capture the attention of reluctant readers. 

Check out these other fantastic books by Gary Soto.

  • Posted by Jocelyn

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