America Dreaming

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AuthorHouse, Sep 21, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 284 pages
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This is a tale about a dream come true. The story of a boys longing to belong to a home, a family, a country.

Rejected as a baby by his father as well as by his mothers family, Memo, at the age of five, is abandoned by his mother Mara at a boarding Catholic school in Mexico, while she pursues her acting career. After three years of beseeching, Mara takes pity and takes him to El Salvador, where he struggles to belong to a family that treats him as an inferior and a country that treats him as a foreigner. At age fourteen he goes to Nicaragua, hoping his father would provide what his Salvadorian family has not. His father wants nothing to do with him

By a quirk of destiny, Memo becomes a Radio and T.V. teen star in El Salvador. But he soon realizes that, by pursuing acting he has given up his education thus surrendering his future for an uncertain present. A lover of American movies, he spends all his free time in movie theaters dreaming about living in America, a country that seems to have it all. He decides that only in America would he be able to realize his dreams.

He implores his cousin Violeta, who lives in the United States, to sponsor him. After several years of pleading, Violeta acquiesces; but he will have to finance his trip. Memo starts the long legal process. Meanwhile, he saves all his money to pay for the trip. He returns to Nicaragua to ask his father for help. His father rejects him and wishes him failure. Memo will have to do it alone. At last he overcomes all obstacles and boards an airplane bound for America. What will he learn there? Memo cannot wait to find out.


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This was a very touching story. I really felt for the main character in this book. It always amazes me to discover what the human soul can endure. I heard that this is the first of a four book collection, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next. I highly recommend reading this book. 

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About the author (2011)

Tonyo Melendez started his professional career at the age of fourteen acting in Radio,Theatre and Television in Central America. After starring in his own TV series, he came to the United States. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Tonyo Melendez holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Virginia and a Master of Fine Arts from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Melendez has appeared in over 70 television shows and twelve films including, “Last Plane Out” in which he starred. He has appeared in leading roles in 35 plays in Hollywood, ranging from Shakespearian tragedies to Restoration farces. Between acting jobs he has studied with Lee Strasberg, Robert Lewis and David Craig. Lee Strasberg awarded him a two year scholarship to the Strasberg Institute. Tonyo Melendez is also a graduate of Los Angeles Musical Theater Workshop in Los Angeles’ Music Center.

Tonyo Melendez has directed and/or choreographed “Oklahoma”, “Finian’s Rainbow”, “Come Blow Your Horn”, “The Sand Box”, “No Exit”, “Tea and Sympathy”, and Variety shows like “The Club That Never Closes”, “The P.Q. Singers” at The Kennedy Center, and “Uncle Funky’s Revue” at the Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. Mr. Melendez served as director of Rio Hondo’s college production of the Musical Drama “Sarita”, and directed USC Department of Theatre’s production of “Thin Air: Tales of a Revolution.” Mr. Melendez adapted and directed Cyrano de Bergerac at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. His last directorial assignment was the critically acclaimed production of Clifford Odets play “The Big Knife”.

As a writer he has three screenplays currently being considered for production. He is writing his second novel entitled: “America Learning”. It is his goal to produce films in hopes of opening opportunities for Hispanic actors in Hollywood.

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