Monday, February 1, 2021

Lupe Wong Won't Dance by Donna Barba Higuera - ESSENTIAL

Lupe Wong Won't Dance
by Donna Barba Higuera,
256 pages. Levine Querido, 2020. $18 

Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG (Bullying). 



7th grader Lupe is an athlete. She expects to the be the first female pitcher in the major leagues, so P.E. is obviously her best subject. Until . . . there's a square dancing unit! Lupe is shocked, dancing in PE? She'd rather run laps. She complains to the PE teacher, her mom, even the principal, but the school has been teaching this unit for years and there are no plans to change it now. Lupe has other ideas. As she starts looking into reasons not to have square dancing, she learns some unexpected information that may hold the possibility for shutting down the unit altogether. 

I loved Lupe's attitude. Even after most of her concerns were met with accommodations, she wasn't about to give up - on either her protest or keeping her A in PE. I loved that her friendships were complicated, I loved her mother and her grandparents, and the support characters and their issues. A solid middle grade read, however, there are some references to STDs, racism and white supremacy. Also, Lupe's father has died, so she's grieving as well.

Lisa Librarian

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