Peruvian/Jewish Lola momentarily inhabits cloud nine in this latest installment of the popular series (Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme, 2016, etc.).
Counting down the days until her family’s kitty acquisition, Lola keeps busy with the construction of a kitty castle, swim lessons, and research trips to the library. But sadly, all is not well in the Levine household. When an orange cat (dubbed Jelly) comes home with Lola, her brother, Ben, starts exhibiting suspicious symptoms. Lola encourages him to lie about what is clearly a newfound allergy, but this strategy goes south when Ben wakes up with a rash. With Jelly’s days clearly numbered, it’s up to Lola to find her much-longed-for cat a new home ASAP, or it’s back to the shelter. For a kid faced with the crushing disappointment of losing her new pet, Lola takes the news of Jelly’s imminent departure unbelievably well. Mitigating this challenge to credibility, her gutsy attempts to tackle the puzzle of Jelly’s new home smack of true heroism. Befitting this culturally diverse protagonist, Lola’s mixed heritage is acknowledged in small ways throughout, with Peruvian cultural details (chicha morada) and occasional, italicized use of Spanish (“¡Vámonos!”) and Yiddish (bubbe). When Lola bids goodbye to her díario, she tells it “shalom.”
A great read for Lola’s fans and any kid with a yen for a furry pet of their own. (Fiction. 6-10)