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TORTILLA SUN by Jennifer Cervantes

TORTILLA SUN

By Jennifer Cervantes

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8118-7015-3
Publisher: Chronicle

Twelve-year-old Izzy Roybal, who loves writing stories, is reluctant to spend the summer in a small village in the New Mexican desert, where she was born. But when she gets there, she is gradually delighted with the landscape’s undeniable beauty and with her grandmother’s cultural and spiritual Mexican-American values. Nana gives a name to each room in her colorful old house, she mixes her perfect English with Spanish words and in her kitchen not only Izzy but her neighbors find a place to share stories while they eat Nana’s traditional Mexican dishes. Socorro, the village storyteller, helps Izzy find the answers to questions she has had about her deceased father all her life. The girl also develops a close friendship with two local kids: Mateo, a 13-year-old boy, and Maggie, a six-year-old orphan. Socorro’s stories suggest ways to navigate the boundaries of life and afterlife, leading to an ill-considered adventure that helps Izzy define who she is. Cervantes evokes the beauty of the setting and develops a memorable cast of characters, brought to life through Izzy’s heartfelt narration. A beautiful and engaging debut novel. (author’s note, tortilla recipe, glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)