Cover image for Barrio : José's neighborhood
Barrio : José's neighborhood
Ancona, George.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 26 cm
Presents life in a barrio in San Francisco, describing the school, recreation, holidays, and family life of an eight-year-old boy who lives there.
Reading Level:
AD 920 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.6 0.5 21839.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.3 2 Quiz: 20181 Guided reading level: P.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F869.S39 M53 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Welcome to José's neighborhood. In his barrio, people speak an easy mix of Spanish and English and sometimes even Chinese. The masked revelry of Halloween leads into the festive remembrances of the Day of the Dead. And murals on the walls and buildings sing out the stories of the people who live here. As familiar as any neighborhood yet as strange as a foreign country, Jose's barrio isn't in Mexico or Argentina--it's in San Francisco. Award-winning author and photographer George Ancona follows José through a season in the barrio, and in the process gives readers a glimpse of a community as rich and varied as America itself.

Author Notes

George Ancona was born December 4, 1929 in Brooklyn , NY. When he finished high school, he went to Mexico for six months to meet his family. He returned to New York and went to work as a graphic designer.

Ancona began taking pictures of his children, and decided that photography would be his hobby. After ten years he quit his job and become a professional photographer. From these photos, he began to make children's books using the words of other writers. After several books, his editor asked him to try his own hand at writing

Since then, Ancona has produced more than eighty books for children. Ancona's awards include a Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year Citation for Handtalk Birthday, a Parent's Choice Award for The Piñata Maker, and an Outstanding Science Trade Book Citation for The Golden Tamarind Comes Home.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. Award-winning author/photographer Ancona turns his camera on the multiculturally mixed and thriving Mission District of San Francisco, focusing on a year in the life of a Mexican American boy who lives in the neighborhood affectionately known as "El Barrio." Walking in his barrio, Josesees the glorious murals that seem to "sing out the stories of the neighborhood." School children parade through the streets during the springtime fiesta "Carnaval." In the summer, gardens and soccer bring the neighborhood together. As fall arrives, the people of the barrio dress in Halloween costumes and decorate candy skulls and altars for the Day of the Dead. Finally, a year has passed, and Jose celebrates his tenth birthday with a party and backyard pinata. One quibble in this fine book: Ancona warmly credits the muralists "whose work brightens Jose's neighborhood and the pages of this book," but he fails to include page numbers or descriptions necessary to correctly identify these copyrighted works of art. A fond and fascinating photo-essay focusing on the richness of the Latino experience. --Annie Ayres

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-A photo-essay that focuses on the neighborhood of a young boy in San Francisco. Through text and photographs, Ancona takes readers on a tour of José's mostly Latino community known as El barrio and introduces them to various shops and foods as well as to the many customs that are part of his daily life. Celebrations including Carnaval, Day of the Dead, Halloween, and the boy's birthday party are described. Some difficult issues are touched on: illegal immigration, the problem of gangs, and even AIDS as a teacher is remembered at school. Ancona's trademark photographs are clear and bright and beautifully capture the many flavors and colors of the barrio. The text is sprinkled with Spanish words that are defined in the glossary. This title successfully captures images of a particular place as seen through the eyes of a child.-Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.