WHY DOES THE COQUÍ SING? by Barbara Garland Polikoff


Age Range: 12 & up
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Uprooted from her home in Chicago, Luz finds herself in a home she has never known: San Juan, Puerto Rico. It does not help that her mother, Mami, and her new step-father, Leon, are so enthusiastic about what Luz and her siblings think is a terrible decision. Rome, her older brother, is soon running with a dangerous crowd while Luz must endure being an outsider as a gringa in an almost entirely Latino school. Unemployment, poverty, and uncertainty plague the family, while distractions of a missing father, a troubled friend, and a new step-father keep Luz off balance. While Rome yearns for pizza in Chicago, Luz soon finds that the scent of mangoes and the shadows of bougainvillea on her bare legs might feel like home after all. Rich with imagery, this unique coming-of-age story is comforting without becoming predictable. Like a warm breeze scented with orchids. (Fiction 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8234-1817-0
Page count: 213pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2004