Gary Soto, the son of Chicano field workers, is a poet and fiction writer. Baseball in April and Other Stories, his first young adult book, was published in 1990. A publisher's pamphlet describes it as “a warm and wise collection of short stories for and about children. Mr. Soto draws on the everyday lives of Latino children and transforms their experiences into tender and realistic stories that appeal to all children: Jesse tries out for the Little League team but doesn't make it and instead joins a neighborhood team in a local park; Victor seeks to impress a girl in his seventh-grade French class; Manuel overcomes his nervousness to lip-sync 'La Bamba' at the school talent show and has astonishing success.”
Soto grew up in industrial south Fresno, California, and received a bachelor of arts degree from California State University in Fresno in 1975. He received a master's degree from the University of California in 1976. He is married to Carolyn Sadako Oda, with whom he has one child.
Soto lectured in Chicano studies at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley from 1977 to 1981. He was an assistant professor of English and Chicano studies from 1981 to 1985. He later became associate professor and senior lecturer in English. He has been a writer-inresidence at San Diego State University.