This week, I’m reading, and almost finished with, The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves. I picked it up as I was scrolling through my digital library. Honestly, it was the first book I saw that had a brown person on the cover, so I thought I’d run with it. It’s one that I feel like a number of the boys in my class could really get into.
Book Beginnings is a meme hosted by Rose at Rose City Reader. Here’s the beginning of The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves.
At school I’m a boss. In baggy jeans and a tee, with swaggy slowness and an icy stare, I roam the halls with my boys.
Other kids shoulder backpacks, talk in twos or threes. Some thumb at cell phones, rocking new clothes they got over Christmas break: sneakers with that store gleam, no fuzz on their sweaters and hoodies.
This opening sets up the perceived difference between Marcos and his peers. Given the conversations I overhear at school, I’m sure a number of kids can relate to this situation. While Marcos doesn’t go into detail about his own clothes, it’s clear from the way he describes everyone else’s that perhaps he didn’t get new clothes at Christmas and he’s not happy about that, even though he is a “boss.”
The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda’s Voice. Here’s what’s happening on page (1)56 of The Closest I’ve Come.
When his cell plays a quick melody he busts it out and wanders outta earshot. It’s a fancy Samsung Galaxy that he hides from his mom. He’s become that guy. He’s a dealer.
Do I believe that? Obie said he’d make quick money and stop, like his mom did years back but will he really?
Here again we see the way Marcos talks about someone who has more money than him, calling his friend Obie’s phone “fancy.”
What’s interesting about Marcos is how much he cares about his friends, while at the same time not mentioning to them that he cares. Frequently he muses about the list of things that you just don’t say to your boys, and how long it is. I think this is a relatable coming of age story that I’m happy to recommend to my students.