Gary Soto’s “Seventh Grade” is a wonderful text to begin the school year. A simple account of a boy’s first day in seventh grade, the story contains a realism that resonates with young readers. Students connect with Victor’s emotional highs and lows making this a wonderful story for teaching literary character development.
One short conversation with Teresa changes Victor's whole outlook and puts him in a good mood. This happens to me too. When my mom made pancakes for breakfast on a school day, it put me in a good mood for the whole day.
Victor's eagerness to impress Teresa reminds me of Tom Sawyer. Tom tries to impress his classmate Becky by doing somersaults and walking on the fence.
The kids in “Seventh Grade” probably come from families of migrant workers or farm laborers since Victor refers to picking grapes over the summer. This reminds me of the migrant workers during the Great Depression who traveled to California looking for seasonal farming jobs.