Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes

My students and I were completing a 2012 Advanced Placement (AP) exam for practice, and we were examining a passage from the novel Under the Feet of Jesus. I absolutely loved the language, the literary elements, and the message of the passage, and I knew that I must read the entire novel, and I did.

This past weekend, I did something that I have NEVER done before; I went to the beach in September. I know for some people, going to the beach in September is absolutely normal, but it's not for me. I am still training myself that school does not mean that summer is over. The weather, in September, in the DC area, is quite fabulous, and it is perfect for going to the beach. So.... I went to beach. (Sometimes, we must think and act outside of these boxes that we have created for ourselves.)

While laying on the beach, I finished reading Under the Feet of Jesus, and I was moved to speechless... Yep... after I finished reading this book, I couldn't find words to express how I felt about this book...It was completely captivating.....

This novel is about an Mexican-American migrant family. The main character, Estrella is "coming of age," and Viramontes uses Estrella's love for Alejo to show the growth of Estrella.

Estrella's family is working as hard as they can as migrant workers, but they must battle against poor wages, terrible living conditions, and no health care. There is no way that a person can read this book and not think about love, and growth, and family, and privilege, and the lack of privilege, and the health care system, and on and on and on...... However, Viramontes tells this story in the most beautiful fashion and with the most beautiful, careful use of words that will leave an imprint on my mind forever.

I believe that this book will become a classic and will be read by many people for years to come...This is a story that must be told!

Please read this book....

Helena Maria Viramontes

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