Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta
Lupe moves from Mexico to United States to live with family. Lupe will be in the same grade, (fifth) as her cousin Margarita who goes by Margie. The story alternates between the cousins. Margie does everything she can to fit in and not be teased for being Mexican. Lupe is trying very hard to learn English and adjust to life in the United States.
Lupe and Margie's voices blend very well together making for smooth transitions. At one point Margie is reading How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay for class, which I thought was a very sweet nod to Julia Alvarez. I loved the beginning it says so much as to why Margie does everything she can to distance herself from her Mexican roots.
"Margie felt nervous having to wait outside the principal's office. She kept her eyes fixed on the huge map that covered the entire wall. Mrs. Donaldson seemed to be a plesant woman, but Margie had never had to address the principal all by herself before. The map's colors were vivid and bold showing Canada, the United States, and part of Mexico. Alaska and the rest of the United States were a strong green; Canada was a bright yellow. The reminder of the map, however, showed only a small part of Mexico in a drab sandlike color Margie could not name. "
The author created two realistic characters in Lupe and Margie. They both made Dancing Home a very nice story and a pleasure to read.
Read an excerpt