Puppy Love (Hardcover)
A sweetly humorous middle grade novel packed with action, basketball, and a dash of magical realism about friendship and family, first crushes, and belonging, from acclaimed author Gary Soto.
Thirteen-year-old Jordan Mendoza has a huge crush on his classmate, Sierra, but he’s never going to win her affections if he stays a C student and keeps embarrassing himself on the basketball court. And it doesn’t help that his best friend, Antonio, likes to tease him about it all a little too much.
But when Jordan dives into the waters of a dangerous irrigation canal to save a drowning puppy, he’s suddenly got even more on his mind than kissing Sierra and making the starting team. Can he nurse the abandoned puppy back to health (and will his parents let him keep her)? Who threw her into the canal—and is it possible that there are more puppies needing rescue? And why are the cops suddenly at Jordan’s door, looking for him?
There’s something for every reader in this story’s mix of humor, sports, themes of thrilling independence, subtle strands of magical realism, and timely social commentary, all held together by a sweet and satisfying emotional core.
Gary Soto is a National Book Award finalist and a recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, the Tomás Rivera Book Award, the NEA Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award, the California Library Association’s Beatty Award, and the PEN Center West Book Award. He lives in Northern California.
(Puppy Love) "Jordan is a protagonist worth rooting for; through his compassionate and earnest POV, Soto spins each seemingly disparate narrative into a cohesive and lightly socially conscious read." — Publishers Weekly
(Puppy Love) "Lighthearted storytelling punctuated with humor makes this a feel-good novel about a boy’s first love." — Kirkus Reviews
(Facts of Life) "[Soto's] greatest gift to readers may be the attention he focuses on meaningful lives, experiences, and occasional injustices that might otherwise go unobserved." — Booklist
(Facts of Life) "Soto writes with humor, wit, and a voice that will appeal to tweens." — School Library Journal
(Accidental Love) "With humor and insight, [Soto] creates memorable, likable characters." — Booklist
(Have Mercy on These Teenage Chimps) "[A] lighthearted, off-beat slice of life . . . Breezy and entertaining." — Kirkus Reviews