|About the Book|
Two adventurers arrive in the town of Cielitos from very different directions. One of them is Tzoquito, a shape-shifter who has grown up in the forest, where his ancestors retreated centuries ago to escape the invading conquistadors. It has alwaysMoreTwo adventurers arrive in the town of Cielitos from very different directions. One of them is Tzoquito, a shape-shifter who has grown up in the forest, where his ancestors retreated centuries ago to escape the invading conquistadors. It has always been his dream to live among people and now he has come to meet the girl that he has loved from afar, Lupe. The other young adventurer is El E, a wannabe gangsta from Los Angeles, who arrives in town with his comically incompetent friends. El E has come for his arranged marriage with Lupe, and his friends are there to do a little business. Inevitably, Tzoquito and El E compete for Lupes affections, but their absurdly foolish attempts to impress her fall flat. However, this turns out to be the least of the problems for the newcomers, as they find themselves being chased by the cops and by real gangsters. Tzoquito uses his shape shifting tricks to stay ahead of the cops, but these soon run out. El E relies on the wits of his pals, but he soon finds that their wits are severely limited. The only thing to do is pool their resources and hope for the best. Fortunately, this is made a bit easier by the buffoonish bad guys and the bumbling cops who take every opportunity to sabotage their own efforts. It is an epic and funny clash of civilizations that leaves everyone a bit dazed and exhausted, but quite a bit wiser. The reader will be a bit wiser, too, as this story touches on interesting aspects of indigenous culture in Meso-America, and includes a colorful use of language. At the end of the book is glossary of terms used in the story. The comic adventure novel Tzoquito is written as a modern take on the tradition Mayan legends of shape-shifters. As with so many classic fables, the stories of shape shifters can give us great insights into our own lives, and illuminate issues of assimilation, prejudice and cultural diversity. Tzoquito is an entertaining story of youthful adventure and at the same time, a discussion of very real, mature issues. Although the characters are prone to using a certain amount of profanity and do make some poor choices, they are all essentially moral and they eventually find the right path. Themes and settings would appeal to young adult readers as well as adults, and the book would be especially appropriate for them, as long as they can see past these character flaws.