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The Smell of Old Lady Perfume [Hardcover]

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Item Number 246804  
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Item description for The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez...

When sixth-grader Chela Gonzalez's father has a stroke and her grandmother moves in to help take care of the family, her world is turned upside down.

Publishers Description

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez’s debut novel for young adults is a bittersweet story about death, family, and the resilient emotional strength of the human heart. Chela Gonzalez, the book’s narrator, is a nerd and a soccer player who can barely contain her excitement about starting the sixth grade. But nothing is as she imagined—her best friend turns on her to join the popular girls and they all act like Chela doesn’t exist. She buries herself in schoolwork and in the warm comfort of her family. To Chela, her family is like a solar system, with her father the sun and her mother, brothers, and sister like planets rotating all around him. It’s a small world, but it’s the only one she fits in.

But that universe is threatened when her strong father has a stroke. Chela’s grandmother moves in to help the family. The smell of her old lady perfume invades the house. That smell is worse than Sundays. Sundays were sad, but they went just as sure as they came. Death was a whole other thing, and Chela doesn’t understand that’s what everyone is waiting for. In her grief and worry, Chela begins to discover herself and find her own strength.

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. She learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old Westerns for her father. She went on to graduate from college and moved to Chicago to become one of the city’s youngest nonprofit executives.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   249
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2008
Publisher   Cinco Puntos Press
ISBN  1933693185  
ISBN13  9781933693187  

Availability  0 units.

More About Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Claudia Guadalupe Martinez grew up in El Paso, Texas. She learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns for her father who always misplaced his glasses. At age six, she already knew she wanted to create stories. Her father encouraged her to dream big and write a book or two one day. Although he passed away when Claudia was eleven, her mother, family and many others continued to encourage her writing.
She went on to receive a degree in literature from Claremont McKenna College on a full ride and later moved to Chicago to become one of the city s youngest non-profit executives before turning her attention to the completion of her first book, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume."

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez was born in 1978.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > Multigenerational > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Issues > Death & Dying > Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Situations > Friendship > Fiction

Reviews - What do customers think about The Smell of Old Lady Perfume?

a difficult topic from a sincere perspective  Aug 22, 2008
Death is a really difficult topic to talk about, especially from the perspective of a kid. The author does it beautifully, and this book may very well make you cry. The father is strong, loving, and rightly adored by Chela. When the worst happens, Chela doesn't know quite how to approach other kids about the seriousness of life, but she approaches the reader with a sincerity that is consummate. While many current titles out there play to stereotypes about Latino families, this book paints a very distinct picture, without sacrificing that certain something that will help those that grew up within the culture to still say, "That's so true!" Non-latinos who have only been exposed to main-stream mass market fiction, will hopefully get a new insight and perspective.
It is admirable that Cinco Puntos Press puts out books that are truly good without relying on misguided ideas of "spice" and "color". Rather, they focus on really well written stories.
Not since the 5th Grade  Jun 27, 2008
Great books, like great works of visual art, lie in the context of their creation and setting. We all bring in our preconceptions and bias, either consciously or subconsciously, and weigh in. The Smell of Old Lady Perfume asks us to check our prejudices at the door, and reaches for the common denominator within us, provoking empathetic laughter and dark sadness with each turn of the page. Indeed, by the time the book is complete, the reader has left behind childhood notions of the unpleasantness of old lady perfume. Claudia G. Martinez' debut novel forces us to grapple with no less than three universal themes: death, coming of age, and family. She does this in intelligent language that weaves together a series of chapters, each like individual petals pieced together to compose a flower. They illustrate complete panoramas of the complex and ever-changing life of sixth grader Chela Gonzalez, the book's protagonist, as she struggles to discover strength after the death of her father. And, whether male or female, young or old, from the northeast or the southwest, the story draws you in with unexpected humor, sympathy, anticipation and delight. This is a phenomenal accomplishment for an unusually young author, the likes of which had not drawn this male reader to young adult since Judy Blume's Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing, Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby, or Thomas Rockwell's How to Eat Fried Worms.

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