Yisraela Benavidez is a young woman growing up on a ranch nestled deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. She lives with her grandparents, Madrecita and Padrecito, and her elderly best friend, El Mochito, who is an inocente. Her parents live right next door, but that's another story. El Mochito sees the world with the innocence of a child and is revered by the Benavidez family for his wisdom and by Yisraela and her triplet cousins for his delightful stories. Jo Roybal Izay's novel is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale that explores themes of race, identity, religion, land rights, and education by reworking elements of the author's own experiences as a New Mexican woman of Sephardic heritage. It is populated with a rich cast of unforgettable and, at times, unusual characters. You will delight with Yisraela, the outrageous Señor Gamblin' Rabbi, Sister Mary Sinclair, and, of course, El Mochito: a brutally frank, elderly inocente, respectfully, a gift from G-d.