Review: Miss Quinces
By Kat Fajardo
April 2022, Scholastic
Instead of spending the summer in the City, hanging out with her friends, and drawing, Sue flies to Honduras with her mom, dad, and two sisters, to visit with her grandmother and extended family. There her mother springs a surprise on her: She is planning a Quinceañera and has already sent out the invitations. Sue wants no part in the celebration. The idea of a big puffy dress and being center stage is horrifying. But she agrees to do it if her mother will send her to sleepaway camp at the end of the summer.
The time in Honduras is spent bonding with her wise and compassionate Abuelita (grandmother). There are cousins and aunts and uncles. While trying on dresses and learning how to dance for the Quinceañera, Sue struggles to finish her summer homework, which is to keep a diary in comic form. But when tragedy strikes the family, no one is sure that having a Quinceañera is the right thing to do.
Miss Quinces will be simultaneously published in English and Spanish. The English version is peppered with Spanish phrases and gives an authentic vibe to a big extended family. For some, this will be a glimpse of a familiar life, while for others it will open up a world. Either way, readers will find ways to connect with Sue as she grows to love and accept her family with all their quirks and learns how to juggle her own identity as she creates an identity within her family.
Vibrant artwork gives readers a sense of culture that leaps off the page. Bold lush colors and a poignant wrap-up will make the perfect read for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer Holm, and Victoria Jamieson.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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