Bodega Dreams – Book II, Rounds 1-4 Summary & Analysis

Ernesto Quinonez

Bodega Dreams

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Bodega Dreams – Book II, Rounds 1-4 Summary & Analysis

BookII: Because a Single Lawyer Can Steal More Money than a Hundred Men with Guns 

Round 1 Summary: My Growing Up and All That Piri Thomas Kinda Crap

The chapter begins with Chino restating the opening passage from Book I, Round 1, that “no one messed with because he had a reputation for biting” (85). Chino knows that he has to keep Blanca from hearing the details of Salazar’s death, because she would be suspicious about the bite mark.

Back at Julia de Burgos Junior High, they had a racist English teacher named Mr. Blessington who told the boys they would all end up in jail and eyed Blanca like a “repressed racist” (86). They also had a science teacher, Mr. Tapia, who actually taught them and encouraged them to make the right decisions about their futures. One day, Chino questioned Mr. Blessington about why they always studied Robert Frost rather than Julia de Borgas, the namesake of their school. Blessington replied that de Burgos was “obscure” and implied that the school was only named after her for reasons of political correctness. When Sapo refused to turn in his homework for the class and tried to leave, Blessington put Sapo in a headlock. In response, Sapo dug his teeth into Blessington’s neck, then “spat out a chunk of Blessington’s flesh, bounding it off Blessington’s left cheekbone” (91). Tapia, looking out for Sapo, told him to say he heard voices rather than try to get Blessington in trouble for the headlock. As a result, Sapo ended up in therapy rather than juvenile detention.

Chino recalls this incident as the “beginning of the adult Sapo. His was the sneaker you wouldn’t want to step on because ‘sorry’ wouldn’t cut it…. He became that person you wanted on your side so you could unleash him on your enemies” (92).

When Blanca learns about the bite mark on Alberto Salazar, she has a number of questions for Chino, including what Salazar was investigating and why their new block was free of drug dealers. Chino dodges her questions, but grows increasingly worried since Sapo hasn’t been seen in…

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