THE REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO by Sonia Manzano
Kirkus Star

THE REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO

Age Range: 12 - 18
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Set in 1969, Manzano’s first novel offers a realistically mercurial protagonist struggling with her identity in Spanish Harlem.

Fourteen-year-old Rosa María Evelyn del Carmen Serrano is frustrated with life in El Barrio. Tired of working for her mother and stepfather in their bodega, she takes a job at a five-and-dime and hopes to trudge through the rest of the summer. Everything changes when her abuela arrives, taking over Evelyn’s bedroom and bearing secrets of the family’s involvement in Puerto Rico’s tumultuous history. When a group called the Young Lords begins working to bring positive changes to the neighborhood, some residents are resistant, including Evelyn’s mother. Led by her grandmother’s example, Evelyn begins to take an interest in the efforts of the activist group. As the months pass, the three generations of women begin to see one another’s perspectives, and Evelyn realizes the importance of her Puerto Rican heritage. Like most real-world teens, she changes subtly, rather than through one earth-shattering epiphany. The author effectively captures this shifting perception in the dialogue and Evelyn’s first-person narration. Secondary characters of surprising dimension round out the plot and add to the novel’s cultural authenticity, as do the Spanish and Spanglish words and phrases sprinkled throughout the text so seamlessly that a glossary would be moot.

A stunning debut. (author’s note, recommended reading) (Historical novel. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-32505-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012: REACHING BACK INTO TIME:

ChildrenFIFTY CENTS AND A DREAM by Jabari Asim
by Jabari Asim
ChildrenELECTRIC BEN by Robert Byrd
by Robert Byrd
ChildrenHEROES OF THE SURF by Elisa Carbone
by Elisa Carbone
ChildrenTHE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis
by Christopher Paul Curtis
ChildrenWE MARCH by Shane W.  Evans
by Shane W. Evans
ChildrenABRAHAM LINCOLN AND FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Russell Freedman
by Russell Freedman

MORE BY SONIA MANZANO

ChildrenMIRACLE ON 133RD STREET by Sonia Manzano
by Sonia Manzano
ChildrenBECOMING MARIA by Sonia Manzano
by Sonia Manzano
ChildrenA BOX FULL OF KITTENS by Sonia Manzano
by Sonia Manzano

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenPIECE OF MY HEART by Lynn Maddalena Menna
by Lynn Maddalena Menna
ChildrenIF I COULD FLY by Judith Ortiz Cofer
by Judith Ortiz Cofer
ChildrenFIRE IN THE STREETS by Kekla Magoon
by Kekla Magoon
ChildrenDARK DUDE by Oscar Hijuelos
by Oscar Hijuelos