From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Growing up in Brownsville, Texas, Martinez felt like a giraffe in a community of mules. Smart and sensitive (he sheds gallons of tears), he was an outsider. So, in a larger sense, were the other members of his family, who identified as Mexican but was regarded by the community as being American. As a result, Domingo felt he belonged in neither culture, which is a theme that unites his otherwise episodic coming-of-age memoir. Another, more visceral theme is machismo, a tradition in Mexican culture and that Martinez finds repugnant and that separates him from his overbearing father. Such experiences and others children were regarded as a commodity to be swapped or traded make the book an informal exercise in sociology as well as a memoir. Weighing in at more than 450 pages, the book extends from Martinez's preschool years to his thirties. Though too long, it nevertheless coheres and offers experiences that readers will find informative and emotionally engaging.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist