I don't know what William Kowalski, communications skills teacher and adult educator living on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, is doing writing books where the characters talk like Cheech Marin, but I have to say I stand corrected.
The Barrio Kings is a Rapid Reader from Orca Books that can be read at one sitting - it took me about three hours, interspersed with mathematics and grammar.
More important, in my view, is the reading level. I believe Orca when they tell me it scores around a 2 using Fry, but that only reminds us that there's something wonky about these formulas. I'm going to group it with my reading level 3 / 4 books. I'd be comfortable handing it to anyone who is okay with, say, Agnes M. Hagen's Jack Sloan westerns (see New Readers Press). It's well within reach of readers who are able to navigate the Grass Roots Press biography series.
So when you're calling up... I dunno.... Toronto Dominion Bank to ask for a book donation (you'll want to speak to Frank McKenna), be sure to put The Barrio Kings on the list. It's a little sappy at the end, but it's a valuable book all the same.