12yr old Isadora (Izzy) and her mom are always moving. When the novel opens, the two are unpacking in their new apartment. Izzy finds a baseball that belonged to her dad, who died before she was born. The baseball has the words because and magic written on it. There's a space between the two, where another word should be.
Izzy can't stop thinking about the missing word and what it might mean. She claims the baseball, even when her mom tries to take it away. Izzy will be spending a few weeks in New Mexico with her grandmother, while her mom works on a research project.
This is the first time Izzy will be meeting her grandmother and visiting the village her mom grew up in. While she's there, Izzy is touched by magic and gets closer to her parents and figures out the missing word.
I loved Izzy's voice. The author surrounded Izzy with some great characters. Including her grandmother, Mateo (a new friend and possible crush) and Maggie, ( a cute six year old, who refers to her cat Frida as doggie). Everyone played off of each other very well.
The writing is colorful, magical,beautiful and perfectly in tune to a young readers sensibility.
"I felt as though melted chocolate had oozed its way from my heart to my toes, coating me with comfort on its way down."
After I read that line, I quickly re-read it. Its visually gorgeous and very fitting for a middle grade novel. The author had some more scenes, that made me stop and take notice. I am looking forward to reading more books by Cervantes.
I enjoyed watching Izzy discover the magic of her mom's village. This was a wonderful debut. Tortilla Sun was such a pleasure to read. age 10 up