Judith Ortiz Cofer is a master of language. As both a poet and a novelist, she tells María's story in an unusual way, which she calls microfiction. The book is comprised of short, narrative vignettes, with poems interspersed, and the result is powerful and emotionally satisfying. María is a girl caught between two worlds: Puerto Rico, where she was born, and her new home, New York. As she struggles to lose her island accent, María does her best to find her place within the unfamiliar culture of the barrio. With the Spanglish of the barrio people ringing in her ears, she finds the poet within herself.