Manuel was the forth out of 7 children. It was that time of year when the grass was brown and the pomegranate trees were heavy with fruit. He volunteered to be in the talent show at John Burroughs Elementary School. For the talent show he will be singing La Bamba By Ritchie Valens's.
At lunch he was hanging out with his friend Benny, who was also in the talent show. Benny was going to the trumpet. Also in football though he got a fat lip, but he was still going to be in the talent show. After school at rehearsal there was: a mother-and-daughter doing a violin duet, five first grade girls jumping rope, a karate kid breaking boards, three girls singing "Like a Virgin", and a skit about the pilgrims.
It was the night of the play. The curtains parted. Mr. Roybal came out in a tight suit and a tie with a large knot. After all performances it was his turn. He started singing and the record got stuck the audience started laughing but they loved it.
Gary Soto was born in to a Mexican-American family in Frenso, California, in 1952. Soto's father died when he was a young boy. Soto worked many jobs as a teenager, including picking grapes in a vineyard and chopping cotton. Soto never was a great student as a child , but he enrolled in collage during the Vietnam War and fell in love with poetry.