At the meeting, we discussed some of the major elements of the work. Students talked about how they related to the novel as well as specific events that really impacted them. McCall is an immigrant from Mexico into the United States, and her story really resonated with our students. Though this novel was written in poetry form, students also expressed that reading it was still fairly easy. They appreciated this work because it really delved into the Hispanic culture.
For everyone who participated, this novel was a very heavy read! In telling the story of her teenage years, McCall went into great detail about the emotions she felt as her mother struggled with- and eventually succumbed to- cancer. Students were moved to tears as the author read passages of her novel. It was indeed difficult not to tear up- McCall read her story with such passion.
Still, though this novel was heart-wrenching, it is also a story of survival. The main character eventually learns to cope with her mother's passing and manages to continue on with her life. McCall was very clear on her overall message- though life can be extremely difficult at times, things will get better. We can not allow ourselves to get caught up in our misery, and we must learn to move ourselves forward.
Our visit ended with an author signing. Students in attendance received signed copies of Under the Mesquite.
Check out the slide show below for photos of this visit!