A funny and heartfelt story about a girl dealing with the trials of middle school and her mother’s breast cancer.
Until the summer before eighth grade, 13-year-old Erica “Chia” Montenegro has only had to worry about her ever-expanding Chia Pet collection, her annoying siblings and “close encounters” with the boys on her Boyfriend Wish List. When her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Erica’s world is turned upside down. Readers feel the weight of the worry and stress overwhelming Erica as she narrates her struggle to balance a heavier academic load, increased household chores and caring for her 2-year-old brother so that her mother, exhausted from chemotherapy treatments, can rest. It only makes things worse that her mood ring seems to better understand her feelings than the Robins, her nosy group of friends. When Erica makes a promesa, committing to get 500 sponsors for her Race for the Cure walk, she finds it’s not an easy promise to keep, and she’ll need to be strong in order to help herself and her family make it through this challenging time.
Balancing the heavy subject matter with generous doses of humor and an authentic young teen voice, López crafts a story that blends family and middle school drama successfully. (Fiction. 11-14)