CELEBRATING A QUINCEAÑERA

A LATINA’S 15TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Following the pattern of their other collaborations, Hoyt-Goldsmith and Migdale (Celebrating Ramadan, 2001, etc.) invite the reader to join a family and a whole community as they celebrate an important occasion in the life of a 15-year-old Mexican-American girl. The engaging photo essay details all the stages in the quinceañera celebration that involves a religious ceremony and a gala dance. Aztec, Roman Catholic, and European traditions are interwoven in the rite of passage still celebrated in Mexico and Mexican-American communities alike. Although in earlier times, the 15th birthday was an occasion for a young woman to make a decision between a secular life and a life consecrated to religious duties, it is now a time for reflection about childhood and the adult life she will lead. A special Mass is held and a large party with a corte de honor of 14 young men and women is planned with the help of many friends and relatives. This court may be linked to the 19th century, when the Austrians Maximilian and Carlota ruled as emperor and empress of Mexico for a short time and imported European traditions, such as fancy dress balls. Today’s young people, in long dresses and tuxedos, perform complex dances reminiscent of the past before they start doing today’s dances. The crisp, clear photos show Cynthia, a California teenager, and her family as they begin to plan the celebration. Her young cousin Ariana and her family are also very involved with the plans and the close relationship between the two families is highlighted. With its mix of family celebration, explanations of cultural and religious traditions, and glimpse into the everyday life of the large Mexican-American community, this is a very attractive way to introduce a major American ethnic group. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2002

ISBN: 0-8234-1693-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

THE MECHANICAL MIND OF JOHN COGGIN

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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