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I enjoyed reading about Merci as she navigates her way into 6th grade. She deals with classmates and teachers while navigating issues with her extended family. She wrestles with issues of friendship, honesty, popularity, and individuality. Beautifully written and highly recommended.
This book is wonderful! Meg Medina is an absolute treasure and she created quite a lovable and relatable protagonist once again. Merci, our main character, is coming to terms with puberty, middle school and the illogical nature of love and friendship while struggling to understand her grandfather's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Heartwarming, wholesome, and funny, middle graders will really enjoy this one!
I loved this book. I love Merci and how splunky she is. I love her close-knit family, her grandfather whom she loves and is kindred spirit with. They both have a gentle sensibility and are dreamers. When she feels low after school, he understands how he feels. Her grandmother, who is pragmatic, helps her sew her Halloween costumes. Her mother and father are busy surviving. They live together with her cousins and aunt. They quarrel but they love each other and take care of each other. The story is so endearing and so real to me. They remind me of my own family--which is Asian American.
I rated this book 8 out of 10 because the book was good but I didn't entirely enjoy it. The car crash seems weird to me.
It was a very good book, almost addictive. A lot of comments say it was slow at the beginning, and that is kind of true, but it just got better and better. The only annoying thing was that there was no Spanish glossary in the back. Since I don't really speak Spanish, I kept having to go to google translate. The houses, Las Casitas, sounded very cozy, and the whole family sounded so nice, and all the friendships were very sweet. The sad parts were very few, which was good. It was overall very entertaining.
(gr.4-7) Merci attends a private school on scholarship and lives with her immediate and extended family in a trio of houses that they like to call Las Casitas. Overall, things are pretty good, but life's complications begin to add up when the school's mean girl sets her sights on Merci and Merci's abuelo, Lolo, begins to exhibit strange behaviours. In turns humorous and touching, this coming of age story will resonate with readers. Newbery Award, 2019. Starred reviews: BL, HB, JL, K, PW, SLJ, GR (4.4*)
This is a book I will recommend when young readers ask for a book about "real kids." Plucky , endearing Merci Suarez navigates challenges at school and at home that many pre-teens might encounter. Meg Medina makes the story of Merci and her family completely engaging without any over-the-top drama, a refreshing change of gears indeed!
Merci Suárez is a sixth-grader whose life is full of changes. She has different teachers at school, new responsibilities as a Sunshine Buddies volunteer, and her friendships with the kids in her class suddenly got a lot more complicated. But the most worrisome change of all is her Lolo (grandfather), who suddenly starts acting strangely and forgetting people's names. This is a touching story not just of growing up, but also of coming to terms with a loved one's illness, in this case Alzheimer's disease. I loved the portrayal of Merci's family. They don't always get along but the love they have for one another is very real. Merci's struggles at school, including dealing with a mean girl, will also resonate with young readers.
Have to say I was disappointed. It was slow and lacked something. I can't put my finger on it, but it needed something.
11-year-old Merci is part of a close Hispanic family living in Florida. She and her parents were born in the U.S. and her grandparents (she calls them Abuela and Lolo) were born in Cuba. Merci is just starting 6th grade at prestigious private academy, but she feels intimidated because her father is a house painter and her mother runs a bakery. She is even more intimidated by her leader-of-the pack insulting classmate, Edna.
Home is a different matter. Her extended family lives in a group of four small houses they bought together. Everyone helps each other out, although Merci is upset that she is forced to babysit her twin-terror nephews. Her happy home life starts to have cracks in it when she begins noticing that Lolo is forgetting things, losing his balance, and getting lost on the way home. As adults, we know right away what this is, and Merci’s family knows, too; but they have avoided telling her. It’s a well-written book, with the kind of deeper issues that fit with a Newbery Award. It would be a fine read-aloud for a class setting, as long as the reader is comfortable with some Spanish phrases, most of which can be easily understood in context. There is some humor and a lot of classroom action, as the 6th grade class members sort out the new “pecking order” that comes with pre-puberty and with switching classrooms and teachers every period. It does have a bit of a slow start, but stick with it.
Merci Suarez is having trouble fitting in at her private school. Edna Santos keeps picking on her and as a reluctant member of the Sunshine Buddies she has to help a new boy settle in to the school. She's also feeling out of control at home, where her grandfather has started acting strangely. In this engaging and real story of family and friends, Merci navigates change and challenges with determination and heart.