This week I seem to be in the mood to read some tween novels. Considering the fact that I have checked out two huge stacks from the library, this is a good thing.
Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel M. Zubizaretta is the book I have been searching for to have in my school library. My school has a large number of Latino students and many could identify with Margie and Lupe. Margie is intent on being American despite her Mexican heritage. When her cousin Lupe moves in Margie is embarrassed at first because Lupe only speaks Spanish. Margie is worried what her friends at school will think of her.
Lupe arrives to live with her aunt and uncle and cousin. She misses her family in Mexico and also wants to find her father who has come to the United States but has not contacted her family in a few years.
I loved this story - a family coming to a new country, trying to fit in, and eventually accepting who they are. I could see so many of my students in this story. While at first I feared this was going to be a predictable story about two girls who did not get along, this book was so much more that.
I am always on the lookout for novels that feature Latino characters, and this one is a must read (and must own for elementary libraries).