The Jumping Tree by René Saldaña, Jr. is a sweet and sometimes funny collection of stories about an adolescent Chicano boy growing up in South Texas. It was an easy and very enjoyable read. The stories were filled with so many strange yet amusing details, that I’ve concluded that this book is probably somewhat autobiographical or the writer is a genius at capturing such nuances. (Perhaps both could be true.)
I found this book in the Young Adult section of my library and plan to let my 11 year old son read it. It teaches a lot of good lessons about family, growing into a man, dealing with peer pressure and being true to yourself. This is an especially great book for young Latino Americans struggling with identity issues.
This is Mr. Saldaña’s first novel. I truly look forward to reading more from him.