Reading Time: 2 hours
Total TIme Spent on 48 Hour Reading CHallenge so far: 18 hours
“In her first novel for young readers, Diana Lopez creates a clever and honest story about a young Latina girl navigating growing pains in her South Texas city (Corpus Christi).”
Not a bad synopsis. Not a bad tween novel. I requested this ARC from the publisher because I thought it might possibly fit into the class I’m teaching next year at our homeschool co-op on Texas history and literature for sixth and seventh graders. It won’t. It’s much too girly, a little too boy-crazy, romantic, and way too light for a class assignment.
However, it’s a good light read from a fresh perspective: a South Texas Latin American girl whose father is an English professor and who seems to effortlessly combine her Latin cultural heritage with a very American life. No cultural angst, no agonizing over who she is or where she belongs, just lots of girl talk about boys, scheming to help divorced mom and a widowed father, sports, and general middle school issues and solutions.
This book is one to suggest to young girls (age 10 or 11 and up) who maybe don’t enjoy reading so much, but who would enjoy a story about a girl like themselves: reasonably intelligent, struggling with the changes that come with growing up, and using a sense of humor and a bit of forgiveness to get them through it all.
I enjoyed Appolina, or Lina as she’s called by her friends, and I found her and her friends and family to be believable characters with endearing quirks. For example, here’s the opening paragraph of the book in Lina’s voice:
“Some people collect coins or stamps, but I collect socks. I have a dresser with drawers labeled DAILY SOCKS, LONELY SOCKS, HOLEY SOCKS, and SOCK HEAVEN.”
Nice, don’t you think? The publication date is June, 2009, so it should be available in bookstores now or soon.