Cuando tia Lola vino (de visita) a quedarse (How Aunt Lola Came to (Visit) Stay)

Overview

Julia Alvarez’s heartwarming novel—now in Spanish.

Moving to Vermont after his parents split, Miguel has plenty to worry about! Tía Lola, his quirky, carismática, and maybe magical aunt makes his life even more unpredictable when she arrives from the Dominican Republic to help out his Mami. Like her stories for adults, Julia Alvarez’s first middle-grade book sparkles with magic as it illuminates a child’s experiences living in two cultures.

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Overview

Julia Alvarez’s heartwarming novel—now in Spanish.

Moving to Vermont after his parents split, Miguel has plenty to worry about! Tía Lola, his quirky, carismática, and maybe magical aunt makes his life even more unpredictable when she arrives from the Dominican Republic to help out his Mami. Like her stories for adults, Julia Alvarez’s first middle-grade book sparkles with magic as it illuminates a child’s experiences living in two cultures.

Although ten-year-old Miguel is at first embarrassed by his colorful aunt, Tia Lola, when she comes to Vermont from the Dominican Republic to stay with his mother, his sister, and him after his parents' divorce, he learns to love her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alvarez (The Secret Footprints; How the Garc a Girls Lost Their Accents) creates a story that is alternately affecting and treacly, starring nine-year-old Miguel (who soon turns 10) and his younger sister, Juanita, as they attempt to adjust after their move from New York City to Vermont. T a Lola, their vivacious aunt, comes to visit from the Dominican Republic to help out their newly divorced mother. With her brightly patterned dresses and constantly shifting beauty mark, T a Lola is portrayed as both wise and childlike as she schemes to make everyone jolly. Miguel struggles with his parents' divorce and with schoolmates who can't pronounce his name and assume he will be a standout baseball player because of his roots. T a Lola, as surrogate parent, fixes everything with a "magic" touch that inspires great food, celebrations and gift giving. Alvarez carefully translates Lola's Spanish until near the end when, after first refusing to speak English and then speaking in whole borrowed phrases, she becomes quite adept at the second language. She cleverly names Miguel's baseball team, Charlie's Boys (after the disgruntled landlord, Colonel Charlebois), and then tells a perfectly constructed story in English. As likable as T a Lola is, some readers may have trouble believing her quick transformation. In addition, Miguel's long-distance father appears more involved in the boy's life than his own mother (with whom Miguel lives); the mother's character is never fully developed. Ages 9-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
PW called this story of a nine-year-old boy and his younger sister attempting to adjust after their move from New York City to Vermont in the wake of their parents' divorce "alternately affecting and treacly." Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature
Miguel and Juanita are two Dominican transplants to rural Vermont from the diverse neighborhoods of New York City. Their parents have just divorced and neither one is happy to leave their father and move to Vermont with their sad and tired mother. As if they did not have enough problems, the kids' mother decides that she needs help taking care of them and enlists the skills, talents and, most of all, the personality of her Tia Lola. Lola is a burst of color and love in the cold landscape of Vermont who befriends half the town while speaking almost no English. Her vivacious nature is endearing to the reader, Juanita, and the kids' mother, but not always to Miguel. He struggles to fit in at school and make friends and—like so many preteens—is embarrassed by his family. But as Miguel learns to be proud of who he is as a Dominican in very white surroundings, he comes to accept Tia Lola, her santeria, randomly-parroted English, and excellent food. This book is a good read for any child, but an excellent one for children dealing with issues of personal ethnic difference. The Spanish is clear and delightful in its Dominican flavor. 2004 (orig. 2001), Dell Yearling, Ages 8 to 12.
—Veronica Betancourt
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Miguel and Juanita Guzman and their mother have moved from New York City to rural Vermont, where Mami has taken a position as a college counselor. Left behind is their beloved Papi, a painter whom their mother is divorcing. To ease the transition and to help with baby-sitting, Mami has sent for her aunt from the Dominican Republic. From the moment the children meet her, glamorous T'a Lola creates a delightful whirlwind in their home, from her flamboyant appearance and tropical decorating to her lively music, exotic cooking, and vivid storytelling. Miguel, anxious to make friends and fit in, is both embarrassed and comforted by her warm presence and he half-believes her practice of the Santeria religion gives her magical powers, including the ability to get him on the baseball team. The youngsters' attempt to teach their aunt their language leads to many humorous situations as she interprets idioms literally and uses expressions inappropriately. Accompanying them on a visit to their father, she gets lost but, once found, helps them accept that the divorce will not threaten their parents' love for them. In the end, T'a Lola decides to stay. The story concludes with a Christmas holiday trip to the Dominican Republic where the children meet their mother's family for the first time and begin to accept that home is where love is. Readers will enjoy the funny situations, identify with the developing relationships and conflicting feelings of the characters, and will get a spicy taste of Caribbean culture in the bargain.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Tia Lola has just arrived from the Dominican Republic with her bright dresses and odd habits, and Miguel is not so certain her odd ways are attractive or acceptable. Her habits make him stand out from his Vermont classmates and as hard as Miguel tries, he can't keep her hidden from his new friends. Her odd habits change his life in this moving multicultural story.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

It's horrible enough that 10-year-old Miguel has to move after his parents divorce -- from New York City to Vermont, where "his black hair and brown skin stand out" and he has yet to make a friend. But now, his flamboyant aunt from the Dominican Republic is coming to visit. How will Miguel ever fit in?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788479017361
  • Publisher: Editorial Integral
  • Publication date: 2/1/2002
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Edition number: 1

Meet the Author

Julia  Alvarez
Julia Alvarez is the award-winning author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, ¡Yo!, In the Time of the Butterflies, In the Name of Salomé, and a picture book, The Secret Footprints. Her most recent book for young readers is entitled Before We Were Free. She is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.

From the Hardcover edition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Middlebury, Vermont
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 27, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Middlebury College, 1971; M.F.A., Syracuse University, 1975

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