Book Reviews of the Roosevelt High School series


"The author sensitively explores the frequently painful process of young teens becoming aware of their sexual preference and of various people's reactions to this knowledge. For young teens, like Tommy, contemplating coming out to their families and friends, this book demonstrates that there are people in a community who may be of assistance and who can provide comfort and support. Tommy Stands Alone further suggests that people's fear of homosexuality, especially in a traditionally Hispanic community, can be surmounted. For other young readers, this book communicates an important message that tolerance and human dignity are essential ingredients for living in this world." (Alexia Kosmider, University of Rhode Island)

Teaching Tolerance

"The Roosevelt High School Series, for grades 7 and up, features characters that young people can relate to. The series deals with difficult contemporary subjects and captures the pressures and emotions that teenagers frequently experience. The use of Spanish words adds authenticity, while the glossaries help non-Spanish-speaking readers put the words in appropriate cultural contexts."

The Young Adult Perplex

"This revelation of a neglectful system, with Velásquez's genuine depiction of Juanita's and Ms. Martínez's difficulties straddling both worlds, compellingly illustrates the challenge of combining cultures. Teenagers of all backgrounds will be sensitized by this accessible story, and Mexican American youth will be pleased to see someone just like them finally appearing in a book."

Multicultural Review

"Fans of Velásquez's earlier novel, Juanita Fights the School Board (1994), and even those who found that book slow-moving, will enjoy Maya's Divided World. Velásquez offers a fast-paced story about Juanita's well-to-do best friend, Maya, whose parents are getting a divorce....While Maya's Divided World has much to say about a teen's experience of divorce, it also examines and reaffirms the various characters' Mexican-American heritage, though in a way that is critical of the traditional balance of power between women and men." (Lyn Miller-Lachmann)

El Almacén de Libros de Nana, Nana's Book Warehouse

"Tommy Stands Alone is a sensitive and balanced treatment of a difficult subject and it is very worthwhile reading for young people. It in no way preaches one lifestyle over another; it promotes understanding and tolerance."