Review of Miss Quinces

Miss Quinces
by Kat Fajardo; illus. by the author; color by Mariana Azzi
Intermediate, Middle School    Graphix/Scholastic    256 pp.    g
5/22    978-1-338-53558-7    $24.99
Paper ed.  978-1-338-53559-4    $12.99
Spanish ed.  978-1-338-53565-5    $12.99

All Sue (Suyapa Yisel to her family) Gutiérrez wants to do this summer is hang out with her Comics Club buddies at Camp Willow. But her overprotective mom has planned a family trip to Honduras to see Abuelita Rita and celebrate Sue’s quinceañera — a party she never asked for and would rather skip. Feeling doomed to a boring and uninspiring summer, Sue finds that spending time with her abuelita, an artist herself, is anything but dull. Rita’s consejos — advice, wisdom, and family stories — help Sue gain a new closeness to her family and learn to cherish cultural traditions. With the coming-of-age ceremony, she resolves to “be braver and embrace [her] true colors,” adapting the longstanding tradition in a way that lets it remain relevant to her own life. Fajardo’s deft graphic-novel paneling and expressive use of line and Azzi’s color palette of cool blues and pinks convey the complexity and full range of Sue’s feelings, both in important moments and in more mundane ones. An author’s note, additional information about quinceañeras, and photographs are appended.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Newbery Centennial.

Lettycia Terrones

Lettycia Terrones is a PhD student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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