Mayra Arce even resembles Esperanza, the protagonist in The House on Mango Street, one of the 80-plus books that were part of the Tucson Unified School District's K-12 Mexican-American studies curriculum before the program was dismantled under Arizona House Bill 2281. But Maya isn't the main character of a book. She's the main plaintiff in the lawsuit against Arizona.
In college, Ana Castillo's plan had been to teach art in high school, but she veered from that more conventional path to become a self-taught poet and then a self-taught everything else literary, now with two New York Times Notable Books of the Year to her credit. Today, she is called one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Chicana literature.
As they spend more and more time together their friendship subtly transforms, evoking that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that only a first crush can. It's a beautifully told almost-love story set to the music of local ska bands, the melancholy vocals of Carla Morrison, and other genre-remixing Latino artists.