["Child of Fire"] brims with violence as well as cruelty, usually involving animals. It also focuses so narrowly on a few minor and unfortunate aspects of Chicano culture that it would be an exceptionally poor introduction for young readers to that large, vivid ethnic group.
The narrator is Delaney, an Anglo (white non-Chicano) juvenile parole officer in San Diego…. Strangely, all of Delaney's charges have Spanish surnames.
Delaney tries to keep his "cases" from returning to jail, an apparently impossible job. Most of his charges are stereotypes: emotional, thin-skinned resentful, with an infantile sense of honor, and macho down to their stomping boots.
(The entire section is 501 words.)