Book Review – Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada

Publisher: Atheneum books for young readers – July 2011

ISBN: 9781416900887

Pages: 147

Genre: Children’s

A year of discoveries culminates in a performance full of surprises, as two girls find their own way to belong. 

Mexico may be her parents’ home, but it’s certainly not Margie’s. She has finally convinced the other kids at school she is one-hundred percent American—just like them. But when her Mexican cousin Lupe visits, the image she’s created for herself crumbles.

Things aren’t easy for Lupe, either. Mexico hadn’t felt like home since her father went North to find work. Lupe’s hope of seeing him in the United States comforts her some, but learning a new language in a new school is tough. Lupe, as much as Margie, is in need of a friend.

Little by little, the girls’ individual steps find the rhythm of one shared dance, and they learn what “home” really means. In the tradition of My Name is Maria Isabel—and simultaneously published in English and in Spanish—Alma Flor Ada and her son Gabriel M. Zubizarreta offer an honest story of family, friendship, and the classic immigrant experience: becoming part of something new, while straying true to who you are.

Reviewed by Amanda

In this enchanting book, Margie, a Mexican American has her life spun around by the arrival of her Mexican cousin, Lupe.  Can Margie forget her own struggle to fit in to help Lupe find her place in the USA:

Dancing home is a heartwarming, wonderfully written story of family, belonging and culture.  Alma Flor Ada’s use of descriptions, her easy to read narrative and her joyful style make this book a true pleasure to read.

This is the perfect book for any young girl.

The use of Spanish and its easy translation mean the characters are believable and likeable.  The whole book reads like a song and I found it hard to put down.

I would highly recommend Dancing Home to anyone.  It is certainly a story that will stay with me for a long time to come.  Utter joy and pleasure.

Amanda’s Rating – 4 stars

~ by adelesymonds on September 29, 2012.

6 Responses to “Book Review – Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada”

  1. Thank-you for your comment on my blog Verdict. I always try in interviews with authors or editors to get as much out about the book and literary techniques as possible. I think for aspiring authors such as ourselves we should utilise our blogging to our advantage and try to gain as much as possible from it. People don’t giveaway tips for free hence I do an interview / guest post in exchange for a review. Nice blog btw. Sophie.

    • Thank you Sophie,
      I have followed your blog for a while now and you always manage to give readers something interesting so that they keep coming back for more. Your interviews are always very good and I will continue to check out your new posts.
      If I have been sent a book for review purposes I try to couple this with an author interview or follow up with one later, if it is a book I picked up myself I will just post a review.
      I am a little behind with my blog posts at present as I have read a lot of books recently that I haven’t got round to posting about but I will catch up soon.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Thank-you for your kind words. I’m glad there is something unique about my blog which keeps readers coming back.

    Keep up with the blogging; I know how hard it is to continually post when life gets really busy. My blog is not my day job so the amount of personal investment is big and committing is not always easy.

    Good luck and keep up the blogging; Sophie

    • Thanks again Sophie,
      I have multiple commitments so my blog has to roll along with the flow of my life, eg: juggling everything at present with a baby who has chicken pox lol
      Keep up your own good work.

  3. Dear Sophie:
    Thanks so much four your very kind review of the book Dancing Home which I co-authored with my son Gabriel Zubizarreta. It’s a story close to my heart because many of the circumstances presented are based on real life experiences of people I know well. It was fun to make my granddaughters, Camila and Jessica, Gabriel’s older daughters secondary characters in the book, the friends Lupe and Margarita so much needed. The girls read the manuscript as we were working on it and we incorporated their comments, so those two characters are truly real life characters.
    Because the book deals with important real life issues, it provided an opportunity for valuable conversations within our family.
    Gabriel now likes to say that everyone should co-author a book with their mother… and with their own children.
    Congratulations on this wonderful blog. I will be following it.
    Best wishes to you and your readers.
    Alma Flor Ada

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment Alma Flor Ada, we have another of your books to review yet so now you are following you should see it as soon as it is up. It really sounds like you enjoyed writing this book.
      Best wishes
      Adele and Amanda

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