Cover image for Muffler man
Muffler man
Campos, Tito.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Houston, TX : Piñata Books 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 29 cm
Chuy works hard at the muffler shop to earn enough money to join his father in America, where together they create an army of "muffler men, " statues made from old muffler parts, that they scatter around the city.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 53984.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Spanish Language

On Order



Finalist, Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award Chuy Garcia longs to join his father, who is working in the Untied States. To save money for the trip north, Chuy convinces his father's former employer at the local muffler shop to hire him. There, Chuy learns his father is the artist who made the Muffler Man, a metal statue that stands in front of the shop inviting customers inside. Once in the United States with his father. Chuy finds that life is more difficult than expected. Inspired by his father's art, Chuy helps find a way to prosper in their new homeland.


Jessie Medina grapples with balancing a new job and a personal relationship. This fast-paced romance raises interesting issues about one woman's struggle to have it all and the complex role of cultural traditions in an ever-changing world.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Chuy Garcia waits in Mexico; his father is in the U.S., where there is so much money "you can sweep it up off the street." In Mexico, Mr. Garcia, who used to work in a muffler shop, once made a life-size figure out of old metal parts. With persistence, Chuy gets a job at the shop, and the owner eventually helps him and his mother move to the U.S. But Chuy realizes money is not as easy to come by as he thought. It's only when Chuy gets his father to put his artistic talent to work again--making first one, then many muffler men--that the family comes closer to the American dream. The story meanders a bit, but the themes of perseverance and following a dream are strong pillars for the tale. Elevating the bilingual text are marvelously bold pictures that resemble woodcuts, their rainbow sherbet colors giving a glow to the sturdy, innovative artwork that suits the idea of statues made of metal. An original immigrant story with an uplifting ending. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Chuy Garc'a misses his dad, who left their small town in Mexico the year before for the United States with promises to send for his wife and son as soon as he found work. In the interim, the boy gets a job cleaning up at the muffler shop where his dad used to work, encouraged by the supportive proprietor, Don Csar. During the course of the summer, Chuy learns that the statue made from old muffler parts that hangs outside the shop is the creative work of his father. With his wages and a generous gift from Don Csar, he and his mother are able to move north and reunite the family. There he aids his demoralized dad in building new muffler men, so that eventually the man can support the family with his artistic ventures. The folksy prose with its gently delivered message is extended by eye-catching artwork. Somber hues and forms surrounded by heavy black lines coupled with odd perspectives give this book the look of revisionist woodblock prints. This title could be effectively paired with Tony Johnston's excellent Uncle Rain Cloud (Charlesbridge, 2001) to show that children can help adults adapt to new circumstances. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.