The House of the Scorpion
Mr. Ortega, Matt's music teacher, is one of the few nice adults in our young hero's life. Mr. Ortega is deaf and therefore desperate for a job, which is why he agrees to teach Matt, even though Matt's a clone. Mr. Ortega loves music and seems to appreciate Matt's musical ability. Matt pays a subtle tribute to his kind teacher when he adopts his last name after arriving in Aztlán.