A collection of regional lore in the guise of chapters contributed by a fictional class of Albuquerque seventh-graders to a book featuring their various cultures, incorporating material as diverse as a recipe for bizcochitos (New Mexico's anise-flavored state cookie), an interview with a marrana (a ""Hidden Jew"") descended from Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition, and an essay on Estebanico, the African slave/guide who explored for the Spanish in the early 16th century. Unfortunately, although the material is fascinating, Meyer's decision to present it in as student-written papers renders its treatment superficial. The greater part of the book is devoted to a frame story about the authors; the result is rather like a sandwich of thick bread and thin meat. Meyer's enthusiasm for the history and diverse cultures is palpable; would that she had reversed the ratio. Pronunciation guide; glossary.