Call Me Maria by Judith Ortiz Cofer

“Fifteen-year-old Maria leaves her mother and their Puerto Rican home to live in the barrio of New York with her father, feeling torn between the two cultures in which she has been raised.”

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. (2004). Call Me Maria. New York, NY: Scholastic. ISBN: 9780439385770. Hardcover. $16.95.

This book is not traditional in that it’s written in letters and poems. Puerto Rican teenager Maria goes to live with her father in the New York barrio to get herself a better education. She uses these various forms of writing to describe her new life with her father and the adjustments she has to make now that she’s away from Puerto Rico. She writes in these letters in poems in Spanish, English and Spanglish (a combination of Spanish and English). The reader follows maria and will see how she adjusts to life in New York without her mother and struggles with her identity.

Awards won:

  • Américas Award

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