Zena Sutherland

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 146

Keeny was on parole, wanting to make it this time but driven by the ceaseless nagging at home, the latest stepfather (an Anglo!), the ugly squalor of the housing project, the pressure from other Chicanos…. [Viva Chicano ] is powerful and almost depressing, its only weakness the long-sustained situation...

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Keeny was on parole, wanting to make it this time but driven by the ceaseless nagging at home, the latest stepfather (an Anglo!), the ugly squalor of the housing project, the pressure from other Chicanos…. [Viva Chicano] is powerful and almost depressing, its only weakness the long-sustained situation in which Keeny (and a girl) reverently cling to a cardboard display dummy, stolen from a theater, of the Mexican hero Zapata—which talks to them. It is not explained fully: the voice of conscience? (but the gang of boys hear it) drug-induced hallucination? schizophrenia? The parole officer offers the theory that it is "the dark side of your mind," that the many facts that the voice knows are facts that Keeny's father had told him years ago. (p. 55)

Zena Sutherland, in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (© 1970 by the University of Chicago; all rights reserved), December, 1970.

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