Playing for the Devil s Fire Thirteen year old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil s Fire marble His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him

  • Title: Playing for the Devil's Fire
  • Author: Phillippe Diederich
  • ISBN: 9781941026304
  • Page: 186
  • Format: Paperback
  • Thirteen year old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil s Fire marble His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing much happens It s a typical hot Sunday morning except that on the waThirteen year old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil s Fire marble His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing much happens It s a typical hot Sunday morning except that on the way to church someone discovers the severed head of Enrique Quintanilla propped on the ledge of one of the cement planters in the plaza and everything changes Not apocalyptic changes, like phalanxes of men riding on horses with stingers for tails, but subtle ones poor neighbors turning up with brand new SUVs, pimpled teens with fancy girls hanging off them Boli s parents leave for Toluca and don t arrive at their destination No one will talk about it A washed out masked wrestler turns up one day, a man only interested in finding his next meal Boli hopes to inspire the luchador to set out with him to find his parents.Phillippe Diederich was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami His parents were forced out of Haiti by the dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier in 1963 As a photojournalist, Diederich has traveled extensively through Mexico and witnessed the terrible tragedies of the Drug Wars.

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      186 Phillippe Diederich
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      Posted by:Phillippe Diederich
      Published :2018-09-26T07:23:47+00:00

    One thought on “Playing for the Devil's Fire”

    1. Review copy: Final copy via publisherA severed head and another dead body with missing fingers are the two most obvious clues that things are changing in the small town of Izayoc. The name Izayoc is Nahuatl and means the place of tears which rapidly becomes a more and more accurate description. There are multiple grisly scenes and many heart-breaking moments throughout the book. Boli’s story is haunting and difficult to read, but is well worth the time and potential tears.My heart ached for Bo [...]

    2. This is one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I know that's something a dramatic teen would say, but it's so disturbing. When drug dealers invade Boli's small town in Mexico his peaceful life ends abruptly. Anyone who speaks out against them or defies their orders ends up dead, including SPOILERS! his parents, best friend, dogI lost count. Although Boli and his friends are only 13 or so, this definitely is not a middle grade book. The opening scene involves a decapitated head found [...]

    3. I received a copy of this at the ALAN 2016 conference. 
This is the second book to make me cry in an airport. Diederich's coming-of-age story, while slow at times, reveals the hardships and heartaches of Mexico's war on drugs. I found myself invested in the characters and what happened to them. The fact that people experience the conflicts Liberia faced is heart-wrenching. As a non-Spanish speaker, I found the occasional Spanish words distracting, even though most of them were translated in t [...]

    4. In this painfully moving coming of age story, a group of boys are messing around with marbles, each hoping to win the treasure called the Devil's Fire. Their youth and innocence, however, is about to be stolen from them. A decapitated head is found on the town square, new money pops up everywhere, and the protagonist's parents mysteriously disappear. Readers of all ages will learn much about the plight of Mexican youth and the perils of getting involved in the narcotics trade from this well-writ [...]

    5. This book opened my eyes to what common people experience when drug cartels take over small towns in Mexico. Disturbing, intense, powerful.

    6. Boli lives in a beautiful pueblo in a scenic valley outside of Mexico City. Izayoc is an idyllic place where the kids play marbles and businesses, like the bakery owned by Boli’s family, are family-run. But lately things are not quite right in Izayoc. Shiny black SUVs are rolling through town regularly, the most popular girls are hanging around with new boys, and bodies (or parts of bodies) are being found around town. Then, when Boli’s parents head to the capital city to tell government off [...]

    7. Boli lives in a beautiful pueblo in a scenic valley outside of Mexico City. Izayoc is an idyllic place where the kids play marbles and businesses are family-run, like the bakery owned by Boli’s family. But lately things are not quite right in Izayoc. Shiny black SUVs are rolling through town regularly, the most popular girls are hanging around with new boys, and bodies (or parts of bodies) are being found around town. When Boli’s parents head to the capital city to tell government officials [...]

    8. This is grim story of a thirteen-year old’s disillusionment and despair in a small mountainous Mexican town to the East of Mexico City. Criminals are taking over the town, and paying off the local police, government, and clergy. The shock of rapid change on its people: teachers and merchants unwilling to pay the protection money, and anyone brave enough to speak out is demonstrated as mutilated body parts start showing up over town, bodies are found hanging from highway overpasses, and guns an [...]

    9. This book rocked me. I was looking to learn about luchadors and got far more than I bargained for. Diederich pulls no punches with his narrative and his protagonist, Boli, is the perfect story teller. Boli experiences a changing world and is forced to come of age earlier than he should. Boli is sweet and steadfast in his pursuit for answers and his adoration for and then relationship with his luchador partner, Chicano, is built artfully and honestly. Diederich is masterful in his narrative and t [...]

    10. I enjoyed this book but it is difficult to pick an audience. A little too brutal for the middle school set but maybe a little too young in some ways for the high school set. Though I have never lived in a rural town like the one described in this title I have spent plenty of time in Mexico and Diederich definitely captures of the flavor of a small town and it's inhabitants. As well as the harsh realities of living so close to the state of Michoacán.

    11. Illustration of difficulty reality in a Contemporary Mexico city! I appreciate youth cultures that this story illustrate. In the U.S youth cultures of Mexican-heritage tend to take abuela and abuelito to emphasize their traditions This book is atypical due to contemporary youth cultures centers in the story with all issues

    12. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this book. It wasn't really what I was expecting but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being totally enveloped in another culture and the inclusion of Spanish in the text.

    13. my opinion of this book is that its very interesting one you begin reading but the further you read the cheesier and less interesting it gets.

    14. (YA, a 2017 CCBC = Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Madison, WI recommendation) a fractured Mexican family and community attempt to “get by” through many tragic events and unsolved situations. The children are the main characters with parents and grandma and friends playing important sloace/frustration depending on the situation. 2016 paperback via Madison County Public Library, Berea, 254 pgs.; 3 out of 5 stars

    15. 3.5 rounded up. The relentless depression of Boli's life as everyone close to him is murdered makes it a difficult read, but may be of interest to teens who want to read about about the culture of a small town corrupted by money from outside forces.

    16. I have mixed feelings about this book. PROS: It is incredibly powerful, and the vivid imagery and strong sense of place made it compelling and visceral. CONS: Audience issues--Boli is 13, which would lead me to think the intended audience is middle schoolers. However, no context for the situation is really provided (drug trafficking is never explicitly mentioned) so without prior knowledge it would be quite confusing for that age group, particularly because there are no clear answers provided in [...]

    17. Whew. Total downer of a book. I absolutely believe that this is an experience that could happen in Mexico, but, as an outsider, I wonder how often this happens. Powerful, but definitely not fun to read.

    18. I had a really hard time getting into it. There were too many Spanish terms and references that I didn't understand.

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