I have to start this review, by admitting it may be more emotional than intellectual. I am sneaking on to post this review, while preparing for final exams in my college classes. Now, to the main attraction.
Mi Barrio is a graphic novel, as told by Robert Renteria to Corey Michael Blake. Shane Clester is the graphic artist . Robert Renteria has been doing a blog hop / book tour for the past week and a half.
This graphic novel was written using simple, straightforward language and striking illustrations. The story is not sugarcoated. I would say best for teens, or starting with middle school.
Robert tells about having to suffer through hunger, beatings and stress as he adjusted to life in the Barrio, in the Army and in corporate life. Finally, Robert took what he had learned in all these different situations and decided to follow his own path – giving back to the community.
The most real paragraph for me, was Robert’s comparison of life before and after working in major corporations.
Based on my experience, people in the business and corporate world are no different than we were in the barrio except for the job, money, education and fine clothing.
For me, this quote means that we should not be impressed by a fancy title or flashy car. A suit-and-tie CEO who cheats a customer, is no better than a thug who uses violence to take a jacket. What counts is the heart, and actions, of a person.
After reading this graphic novel, I plan to share it often with all the teenagers who think the best they can do is be the next media darling. I never heard the name Robert Renteria until reading Mi Barrio and I will never forget it now.
What I got from Mi Barrio:
Never jump to conclusions. Work until you reach your goal. Share your story and reach back to help. Someone needs to hear your story. Someone needs to see your example. Someone needs to know that barriers can be knocked down, and used as stepping stones.
Robert Renteria will be stopping by today to respond to comments. Anyone leaving a comment will be entered to win a free copy of the book. Final winner must be resident of the continental U.S. Good luck!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher as part of a Condor Book Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.