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QUINCEAÑERA MEANS SWEET 15 by Veronica Chambers


by Veronica Chambers

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7868-0497-1
Publisher: Hyperion

In this stand-alone sequel to Marisol & Magdalena (not reviewed), Marisol has returned from her sojourn to Panama City and is once again inseparable from her best friend, Magda. At the beginning of their freshman year, the two girls, now 14, are planning their quinceañera a celebration of their 15th birthdays. For Marisol, planning a quinceañera is more like a daydream since she and her single mother have little to spend on an extravagant party. More disappointments ensue for Marisol when her mother starts to date a man who insists on calling her pet names like "Marisolita"; she continues to miss the father who abandoned her; and Magda drops their friendship when she takes up with new friends who shoplift and find Marisol uncool. Despite these hardships, like Cinderella, Marisol goes to her party with the help of family, friends, and neighbors, and has a charming new beau by her side. Chambers uses the quinceañera and family traditions to introduce Latin American heritage and the concept of community. Marisol also explores what it means to be a Latina, which she finds is a term applied loosely to encompass diverse Hispanic backgrounds. Young female readers will marvel at the details of Marisol's quinceañera and will cheer Marisol on, as her special evening becomes a fairy tale come true. (Fiction. 11-13)