Alvarez returns with another Tía Lola story, replete with adventure and humor.
Revisiting this charming Latino family a couple of months after How Tía Lola Learned to Teach (2010), readers find 11-year-old Miguel Guzman’s aunt creating a magical summer camp for the Fourth of July week, complete with campfires and a nighttime treasure hunt. Víctor Espada is back in Vermont to visit, bringing his three daughters and his dog to stay at the farm. With romance blooming between Víctor and Miguel’s divorced mom, Tía Lola tries to keep the peace between the five children. Meanwhile, outnumbered by the four girls and sidelined from playing baseball by an ankle injury, Miguel is beset by a plethora of worries, while his 9-year-old sister Juanita struggles to feel special among the Espada girls. Each of the children (and a couple of the adults) overcomes a challenge, thanks to Tía Lola’s empathy and wisdom. The author subtly continues thematic elements of acceptance and community from the previous novels and blends Spanish words and phrases into the story, which will appeal to Latino and non-Latino readers alike.
Returning readers will rejoice in reconnecting with the effervescent Tía Lola and the rest of the gang, while even readers new to the tales will want to read more about Vermont’s favorite Dominican aunt. (Fiction. 8-12)