Joe López is in seventh grade, and he dreams of being an artist as good and successful as his grandfather. He’s thrilled when the new art teacher compliments him on his pencil drawings of roosters and offers to teach him how to paint with oils. She even suggests that he might want to enter his piece in the county fair!
Still thinking about the possibility of painting with oils and not just kids’ tempera paint, Joe and his best friend Gary see Luis, a chubby sixth grader, running down the hall. Soon they see why he’s running: Martin Corona, the school’s biggest bully, is in hot pursuit. They watch as he slams Luis against the lockers and demands money. Much to his surprise, Joe finds himself defending Luis. Luckily, the vice principal shows up just in time to rescue both Luis and Joe.
Reluctant to be a tattletale, Joe tries to avoid Martin and his gang. Even though he knows it’s just a matter of time before Martin exacts his revenge, fear doesn’t keep him from going to football games and trying to impress the girl he likes. And when he meets Martin Corona under the bleachers after school one day, it’s a conversation with his Grandpa Jessie about la lucha—or everyone’s individual fight—that helps Joe and his friends not only survive the encounter, but put the bully in his place.
This bilingual “flip” book for intermediate readers also includes Garza’s black and white sketches depicting bullies, heroes and the roosters that Joe loves to draw. Award-winning author and illustrator Xavier Garza once again writes an action-packed novel that will appeal to all young teens.