Becoming Maria : Love and Chaos in the South Bronx
by Manzano, Sonia







PART 1 FRAGMENTS
Chapter 1 Kid Diaper Meets Mystery Girl
3(10)
Chapter 2 Family Beatings
13(8)
Chapter 3 Poverty Sing-Along
21(14)
Chapter 4 Invisible Girl
35(7)
Chapter 5 A Christmas Fact of Life
42(11)
Chapter 6 Hunger Camp
53(14)
Chapter 7 Family Mood Swings
67(9)
Chapter 8 Queen for a Day
76(8)
Chapter 9 Banishment, Threats, and a Suicide
84(5)
Chapter 10 Buried Treasure
89(4)
Chapter 11 Breasts
93(11)
Chapter 12 Knives in the Oven
104(9)
PART 2 LA LUCHA
Chapter 1 Landing on Planet X
113(6)
Chapter 2 Estupida
119(5)
Chapter 3 West Side Story
124(5)
Chapter 4 Fight! Fight! Fight!
129(8)
Chapter 5 Southern Boulevard
137(9)
Chapter 6 Vanessa Delmonte
146(8)
Chapter 7 Back to Square One
154(8)
Chapter 8 Worlds Collide
162(7)
Chapter 9 Agitation
169(7)
Chapter 10 Down with Puerto Rico
176(9)
Chapter 11 My Dramatic Life
185(10)
PART 3 THE BEGINNING
Chapter 1 Performing Arts
195(6)
Chapter 2 Winner or Loser?
201(7)
Chapter 3 What Skin Am I In?
208(6)
Chapter 4 The Love and Marriage Bomb
214(12)
Chanter
5(215)
Oozing Opportunist
220(6)
Chapter 6 Free at Last
226(9)
Chapter 7 Stages of Fear
235(6)
Chapter 8 Black Power
241(5)
Chapter 9 Godspell
246(7)
Chapter 10 Unhappy Ending
253(7)
Chapter 11 The Beginning
260


"Pura Belpre Honor winner for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano and one of America's most influential Hispanics-'Maria' on Sesame Street-delivers a beautifully wrought coming-of-age memoir. Set in the 1950s in the Bronx, this is the story of a girl with a dream. Emmy award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano plunges us into the daily lives of a Latino family that is loving-and troubled. This is Sonia's own story rendered with an unforgettable narrative power. When readers meet young Sonia, she isa child living amidst the squalor of a boisterous home that is filled with noisy relatives and nosy neighbors. Each day she is glued to the TV screen that blots out the painful realities of her existence and also illuminates the possibilities that lie ahead. But-click!-when the TV goes off, Sonia is taken back to real-life-the cramped, colorful world of her neighborhood and an alcoholic father. But it is Sonia's dream of becoming an actress that keeps her afloat among the turbulence of her life and times. Spiced with culture, heartache, and humor, this memoir paints a lasting portrait of a girl's resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions"-





Sonia Manzano has affected the lives of millions since the early 1970s, as the actress who defined the role of "Maria" on the acclaimed television series Sesame Street. Sonia has won fifteen Emmy Awards for her television writing and is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Arts and Sciences. People magazine named Sonia one of America's most influential Hispanics. She lives in New York City.





Though many adults may recognize Manzano as Maria from Sesame Street, she's likely more well known among today's teens as the author of the Pura Belpré-winning The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (2012). In her present-tense memoir, Manzano, who grew up in 1950s South Bronx, examines her community, her family, and her ever-changing self with a wide-eyed curiosity. She struggles to make sense of her mother's decisions, such as staying with an abusive husband and trading in a hardscrabble existence in Puerto Rico for an equally challenging life in the U.S. It's Manzano's gift for theater that provides her the opportunity of a lifetime, and thanks to her talent, she attends a performing-arts high school and then Carnegie Mellon. This beautifully rendered coming-of-age story calls to mind Betty Smith's classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Though it's a bit slow moving at times and would have benefited from a time line to help ground readers, this is nevertheless an inspiring portrait of resiliency and a time capsule for a New York that now feels like a distant memory. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.





Actress Manzano, best known as Maria from Sesame Street, provides a lyrical and unflinching account of her tough Nuyorican upbringing in the South Bronx. Split into three parts, this touching memoir is a chronological series of vignettes in the author's life, starting with her earliest memories as a diaper-clad toddler witnessing her father's drunken outbursts and meeting a mysterious "dark little girl," who turns out to be her older half sister. The author doesn't give many dates or ages; her memories are fragments of her Spanglish-filled life in a large, poverty-stricken Puerto Rican family. She writes about the fear and confusion of having an abusive father and a battered mother doing the best she could with four kids to clothe and feed. She describes the communal shame of cousins and friends "ruined" by teen pregnancies. But her childhood isn't all grim. Manzano lovingly details life-changing moments: seeing West Side Story with a teacher and two other Latina classmates; visiting Puerto Rico, the place her parents fled but cherished; listening to a record of Richard Burton playing Hamlet; and later successfully auditioning for a spot in Manhattan's illustrious High School of Performing Arts. Life is full of tragedies and triumphs alike, and Manzano shows how both helped her become the actress that generations of children grew up seeing on Sesame Street. In stark and heartbreaking contrast to her Sesame Street character, Manzano paints a poignant, startlingly honest picture of her youth. (Memoir. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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