This story is about a boy named Julio and he didn’t  want to be called his real name any more, so he went to school and fought to get a nickname and also he looked a little Chinese so he got the nickname “Chino”.

The first section of Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quinonez might leave a reader feeling surprised because all Julio wanted to get a nickname and didn’t want to be called his real name any more. An example of this is on paragraph 16.  “to have a name other than the one your parents had given you meant you had status in school, had status on your block. You were somebody. If anyone called you by your real name you were un mamao, a useless, meaningless thing. It meant that you hadn’t proved yourself, it was open season for anybody who wanted to kick your ass. It was Sapo who taught me that it didn’t matter if you lost the fight, only that you never backed down. The more guys that saw you lose fights without ever backing down, the better. This didn’t mean you were home free, it simply meant bigger guys would think twice before starting something with you.” This is very crazy because… Julio thinks that you can only get a nickname by fighting and being a thug. So far, the themes in Bodega Dreams might remind a reader of another story. In “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter Andy was in a gang and someone stabbed him and he was left in an alley alone and he finally realized that being in a gang is not too cool.

After this part of the book, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the rest of this book because this book is very interesting and it has a big message for the youth. What’s probably going to happen next is that Bodega will try to take over and have everyone in the barrio selling drugs for him.

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January 18, 2022 4:17 pm

Dear Yeury,
I am very impressed by your post,¨Bodega Dreams¨ because I believe that there is something worth fighting for what you want. I know that fighting in gangs to have a nickname isn’t like the fighting I’m talking about but if you just interpret the right way you can see what I do.
One sentence that you wrote that stood out was,¨ It was Sapo who taught me that it didn’t matter if you lost the fight, only that you never backed down.¨ This is where I interpret that the things you want no matter how lost or no matter if it’s simply impossible you keep fighting for what you want. Fighting for something that you want in life no matter what it is is important because all that matters is that you are happy and you know your worth as you fight for the things you deserve.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I was very intrigued by what you wrote and the power your writing has as a whole.

Maryjoe Camaquin

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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