Friday, October 11, 2019

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya - ADVISABLE

Each Tiny Spark Pablo Cartaya, 315 pages. Kokila (Penguin), 2019. $17.00

Content: G. 

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

12-year-old Emilia Rosa Torres is easily distracted. Besides her ADHD, she has a lot going on - her father is recently returned from deployment, her mother is working out of town, and her homework is tricky - especially her social studies assignment: to make a travel guide of her town Merryville. Emilia's abuela is from Cuba, so she decides to focus on the local grocery store and Spanish speaking members of the community - where they work and what brought them there. Her choices put a strain on her friendship with Clarissa, her dad just isn't the same anymore - and he won't talk about it. 

Full of lots of current issues - immigration, school boundary changes, culture differences, post deployment syndrome, and family dynamics, there's a lot going on. This is a great opportunity for the hispanic child to see herself in Emilia. Cartaya has interspersed the dialogue with Spanish, which, in context doesn't need to be translated - it contributed to the multicultural feel of this book. I would have liked to see more welding, it wasn't really that important to the plot. Includes an author's note which contains a list of resources for more information about the topics covered, and a challenge to be the spark that makes a difference.

Lisa Librarian

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