If you have not read a book by Gary Soto please do so! The Afterlife was introduced to me a few years ago by a coworker. She had nothing but good things to say about most of Soto’s work, so I picked up a copy. The Afterlife is a quick read that will keep your attention until the last page.
Author photo is from: http://www.umich.edu/~ac213/student_projects08/latlit/soto.html