Dear Dr. Rios:


My name is Bladimir Gallegos. I am a 16-year-old male student of Latino descent. I and my class are reading and using your autobiography to improve our literacy skills ,and I am truly enjoying it so far.  I have just finished chapter 8 of your autobiography Street Life. I initially thought your book was going to be a challenging read and confusing, but now I see that is not the case. I thought it would be a more difficult read because I typically don’t like reading books but it turned out to be a very truthful and relatable piece of literature. I also thought it was going to be confusing because the way you started it and transitioned it to different times of your life.


So far we have used inferences, sensory details, annotations, and vocal inflection while reading your work.


I feel relatable to different parts of your story that you shared in the chapters titled “The Snake Belt” and “A True Gangster.”


In chapter 7, when you said “I came home that day to my mother standing at the front of the door, half of her face covered by the shadow of the splintering wooden door. “Donde has Estado?”(pg.35), I wonder if you knew that one day this would happen and had already come up with an alibi just in case? Also, you said, “I told my mother the truth; I had been working to help pay the bills”(pg.36), and I thought that it would have been a better situation if you just talked to her or implied that you wanted to work to help pay with bills instead of lying.


Then I read chapter 8 where I read “My cousin, Pingo, had a connection to the gang. Pingo was my mother’s brother’s son. We were the same age and only a month apart.”(pg.41) and I realized that Pingo was probably one of the biggest influences at this point in your life. Lastly, you shared “I grabbed the gun and pointed it towards the guys. Then, I raised the gun towards the air and shot into the night sky. The guys scattered like roaches and I fooled Conejo.”(pg.47) and I want you to know that I think you are so smart for that and such a good on the spot thinker.


Your autobiography is so well made and intense and has turned into one of my favorite pieces of literature I have ever come across.


Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you,


Sincerely Bladimir


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February 20, 2018 7:43 pm

Hi Bladimiro,
I found your article very interesting, especially the part where you talked about how the book was and easier read than you thought it was going to be. I am excited to see what else you find.

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