Monday, July 13, 2009

CONFETTI GIRL by Diana Lopez

CONFETTI GIRL should be a big hit with the middle grade market. It takes a Latino backdrop and combines it with likeable characters experiencing the typical ups and downs of middle school life and puts it all in a fun, eye-catching cover.

Meet Apolonia (Lina) and her crazy sock collection. She sees herself as overly tall and gawky with skinny legs, an interest in science, and a sometimes annoying directness. Lina lives with her father, a high school English teacher. Several years earlier her mother died after she fell and cut her leg. The cut was not really serious, but the blood infection that followed was.

Life has been difficult, but Lina has her best friend Vanessa as support. In fact, they have supported each other since Lina's mother died and Vanessa's mother went through a nasty divorce. They have weathered the events fairly well, and now are hoping that their parents can begin to adjust and live more normal lives.

Mixed in with these personal tragedies are several other plot twists. Lina's grade in English is plummeting so she finds herself ineligible for sports, the one area where she shines. Vanessa has been acting strange anytime she is around Carlos. Lina has even caught them kissing. She knows part of her anger about this is due to jealousy since she has liked a boy named Luis for quite some time, but their relationship doesn't seem to be progressing to the same level.

Author Diana Lopez is spot on with her descriptions of budding middle school romance, merciless teasing, and parent/child misunderstandings. Young readers will find much to like about CONFETTI GIRL, including the added bonus of the Latino words of wisdom that begin each chapter and the Hispanic customs scattered through the story.

No comments: