Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dancing Home

Dancing Home
by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Synopsis:  Mexico may be her parent's home, but it's certainly not Margie's.  She as finally convinced the other kids at school she is one hundred percent American-just like them.  But when her Mexican cousin Lupe visits, the image she's created for herself crumbles.

Things aren't easy for Lupe, either.  Mexico hadn't felt like home since her father went North to find work.  Lupe's hope of seeing him in the United States comforts her some, but learning a new language in a new school is tough.  Lupe, as much as Margie, is in need of a friend.

Little by little, the girls' individual steps find the rhythm of one shared dance, and they learn what "home" really means.
from the book jacket

Review:  This is the story of two fifth grade girls who are cousins.  Margie was born in the US to Latino parents but wants to be thought of as American.  Lupe grew up in Mexico until she comes to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin.  Margie does not want Lupe around her but by having Lupe at her house Margie learns a lot of about her heritage and herself.  I love the message that this book presents and while it may appear to be preachy at times, I think it resonates and is an important message for kids to hear.  I think this is a book that intermediate grade readers should read to discuss about the book, perhaps in literature circles.  It is a book that I am highly considering for a group of Latino students to read as many of them are in Margie's situation.   There are a lot of Spanish phrases in the book but they are all explained in the following text, not just translated right afterwards.

Rating:  4 stars

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