Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros

Hello, Ernesto Cisneros! Welcome back to Watch. Connect. Read.! A lot has happened since the last time you visited. I’m grateful you’ve returned to celebrate Falling Short. Please take us on a tour of Jay Bendt’s cover illustration.

Ernesto Cisneros: The front cover shows best friends, Isaac and Marco, who have big plans for sixth grade. Academically-gifted Marco (on the right) plans on finally winning his father’s approval by earning a spot on the school’s basketball team—despite being the shortest boy in middle school. On the other hand, basketball prodigy Isaac (on the left) plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork in hopes of stopping his parents from arguing.

No pressure, right?

Both boys are going to need each to keep them from “falling short?” But will it be enough?

Imagine Linda Sherman-Nurick, the bookseller at Cellar Door Bookstore in Riverside, asks you to fill out a shelf talker about Falling Short

Ernesto Cisneros: This new novel, Falling Short is dedicated to everyone who has ever felt like they fall short of what the world expects from it. It comes with big laughs, real-world issues, and tons of heart. It is my sophomore novel, and I hope it resonates with you as much as Efrén Divided did.

Please finish the following sentence starters: 

Basketball is a game where one’s heart matters more than size. It’s a team sport with a role for everyone. The only requirement is the willingness to work and learn.

Did you know
that I first touched a basketball while trying out for the freshman team at high school? My game was horrible. I couldn’t dribble, shoot… and didn’t know any of the rules. All I could do was shadow my opponent throughout the court and make sure he didn’t touch the ball. Many, many years later, I eventually excelled defensively.

Efrén Divided was my attempt at helping my community feel seen. Never did I imagine, it would garner so much support from teachers, librarians, independent bookstores, and children alike.

Ernesto Cisneros was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, where he still teaches. Efrén Divided is his first book. He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a master of fine arts in creative writing from National University. As an author, he believes in providing today’s youth with an honest depiction of characters with whom they can identify. The real world is filled with amazing people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. His work strives to reflect that.

Look for Falling Short on March 15, 2022. 


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