The Tequila Worm: How Do These Themes Represent the Author’s Young Adult Heroine in Her Quest for an Independent, Emerging Adulthood?
To Sofia, though, it is also increasingly shabby and limited, and when a scholarship offer to an exclusive boarding school arrives she decides to leave her family and barrio behind. Family expectations and peers' racist attitudes challenge her academic dreams, but her successes ultimately lead her all the way to Harvard Law.
When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It's a different mundo, but one where Sofia's traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.
Sofia willingness of being successful in life is appreciated by her family members and other people in the society as she was awarded a scholarship to continue with her studies. Her father also trained her on the important of working hard in one activity by stating, “You’ll see what I’m talking about when you’re older” (Canales 35).
What will keep readers enthralled are the details of Sofia's home life—from the sobremesa, a "sacred time" after dinner in which the family reconnects through conversation, to the worm of the title, a critter soaked in mescal that acts as a "cure for homesickness" when eaten. Readers may well feel unprepared for both a death at novel's end and Sofia's out-of-the-blue neighborhood activism—but the characters are real and engaging, the vignettes funny and enlightening, and Sofia's lack of cynicism is refreshing.
Canales, Viola. The Tequila Worm. New York, NY: Wendy Lamb Books, 2011.print.