The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
by: Robin Fogle Kurz

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

April 2010 Newsletter

Reviewed by Robin Fogle Kurz, Doctoral Student, School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Stork follows his critically-acclaimed Marcelo in the Real World with another powerful, unflinching young adult novel.  Seventeen-year-old orphan Pancho Sanchez arrives at St. Anthony’s Home in Las Cruces, determined to avenge his sister’s murder, regardless of the repercussions.  There he meets D.Q., a talkative long-time resident with terminal brain cancer and confined to a wheelchair.  When Pancho is hired as D.Q.’s aide for the summer, the two set out on a physical and spiritual quest to Albuquerque and parts beyond, strengthening and testing their friendship and Pancho’s desire for revenge.  This beautifully written novel comes alive with an authentic, three-dimensional cast, and the author avoids portraying a single character as completely without merit or flaw.  Stork’s obvious respect for the intelligence of the teenage reader is commendable.  Highly Recommended.
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors. Francisco X. Stork. New York: Arthur A. Levine, 2010. 352 pp. $17.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-545-15133-7. Grades 9-12. English with some Spanish.

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