Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo. Scholastic, 2022. 9781338535587
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Format: ARC (4/22 pub date)
Genre: Realistic fiction/graphic novel
What did you like about the book? Sue is bummed to miss out on a summer of fun with her friends – her family is dragging her on a vacation to visit relatives in Honduras. While she’s there, Sue’s parents decide that she will have a quinceañera. That means a pink fluffy dress, high heels, dancing and being the center of attention, all things Sue cannot stand! She loves the color black; leggings and sneakers are her favorite attire. She’d rather be reading than doing anything else and when people look at her she gets the hives. But her beloved abuela, who is very sick, convinces Sue that she can do it.
I loved this funny, relatable book about being a teenager trying to balance her family’s cultural expectations with figuring out how to be true to herself. In the end she draws a travelogue of the trip she thought she would hate. Her bossy older sister becomes a friend, and the quinceañera ends up being a blast, thanks to some flexibility from her parents. Even her abuela’s unexpected death brings her family closer together. It was great to learn about all the rituals associated with turning fifteen in Latin culture. Fajardo makes it so interesting and fun, and she makes Sue and her family feel like the fun neighbors you want to get to know better.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? A must-read for fans of realistic graphic novels like The Babysitters Club and Real Friends. For ages 9-14.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: January 21, 2022