88 pages 2 hours read

Viola Canales

The Tequila Worm

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2005

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Teacher Introduction

The Tequila Worm

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade contemporary
  • Originally Published: 2005
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 830L; grades 7-9
  • Structure/Length: 21 chapters; approx. 208 pages
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Sofia’s childhood is full of the magic of storytellers and family traditions. When she receives a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school at the age of 14, she must leave behind the Texas barrio where she was raised—without leaving behind the traditions of her loving family—as she learns to navigate and explore a new world.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Underage drinking; sexism; racism; cancer death

Viola Canales, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1957; writer and lecturer at Stanford Law School; received a scholarship at 15 to attend a prestigious private school; graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1986 and earned her JD from Harvard Law in 1989; took two leaves of absences during college, one to serve as a community organizer for United Farm Workers and one to serve in the United States Army
  • Other Works: Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (2001); The Little Devil and the Rose (2014); Cecilia’s Magical Mission (2020)
  • Awards: Pura Belpré Award (2006)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Importance of Tradition and Culture
  • The Community’s Role in Encouraging Growth and Shaping Identity
  • Food as Creating Cultural and Spiritual Connection