Written by Deborah Frisch
with illustrations by her son, Arturo Avila
© 2012 Deborah Frisch
June 1975 - With New York City deep in budget crisis, Deborah, a spirited young teacher of English as a Second Language, receives her third pink slip in two years. Her strongest ties to New York were cut when cancer claimed her mother, uncle and aunt. With no prospect of work, she takes off for the glorious Mexican beach she had stumbled upon three years earlier. At that time, the only trace of human intrusion near the beach was a wooden bridge with a hand-lettered sign reading “CAN-CUN.” During Deborah’s second trip to Mexico, hilarious experiences follow harrowing ones. Once she reaches Cancún, it’s not long before everyone is calling her maestra. What begins with a class for four becomes a school for more than four hundred, and her life expands to embrace an international circle of teachers and friends, an island, a husband and son, a sailboat, sharks and muchas aventuras.
Illustrator Arturo Avila
Arturo's artistic talent came to light in drawings he made when he was only two years of age. He is a master capoeirista, and his name in capoeira circles is Beriba, the wood of the berimbau. Appropriately, Arturo works with a tree service, and he lives with his wife and young son in Richmond, CA.
Xicalango Press is pleased to announce that A Mango for the Teacher has been selected as a
Finalist in the 14th Annual International Latino Book Awards.
“A Mango” is a delicious dish...a memoir of dreams, hopes and learning...”
Rene Colato Lainez, prizewinning author of “Playing Lotería”
“A Mango” is a wild rollercoaster ride of an adventure...”
Lucille Belucci, award winner for “The Snake Woman of Ipanema”
"In A Mango, enhanced by the charming illustrations of Frisch's son, Arturo Avila, you engage in the vigorous life of the school--the lessons, the enthusiastic and irrepressible students and teachers. You enjoy the earthy parties--the food, the clothing, the music. You meet caring, generous people. You wince at the red tape of politics. And finally, you delight in the tang and triumphs of a life of love and laughter, even as it is tempered by bittersweet notes."
"A Mango for the Teacher is a joyful read, although it describes some heartache as well. It describes the adventures of the young teacher of the title as she lives in and works in Cancún in its early years as a tourist attraction. Her adventures in and out of the classroom reflect her vivacious personality and provide the reader with a vivid picture of a more innocent time--one we all want to be enveloped by."