How Tia Lola Saved the Summer

How Tia Lola Saved the Summer

by Julia Alvarez
     
 

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Miguel Guzman isn't exactly looking forward to the summer now that his mother has agreed to let the Sword family—a father, his three daughters, and their dog—live with them while they decide whether or not to move to Vermont. Little does Miguel know his aunt has something up her sleeve that just may make this the best summer ever. With her usual flair

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Overview

Miguel Guzman isn't exactly looking forward to the summer now that his mother has agreed to let the Sword family—a father, his three daughters, and their dog—live with them while they decide whether or not to move to Vermont. Little does Miguel know his aunt has something up her sleeve that just may make this the best summer ever. With her usual flair for creativity and fun, Tía Lola decides to start a summer camp for Miguel, his little sister, and the three Sword girls, complete with magical swords, nighttime treasure hunts, campfires, barbecues, and an end-of-summer surprise!

The warm and funny third book in the Tía Lola Stories is sure to delight young readers and leave them looking forward to their own summer fun!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Tía Lola is that special aunt who knows how to add a touch of fun to everything!” —TimeforKids.com

 “Replete with adventure and humor. . . . Returning readers will rejoice in reconnecting with the effervescent Tía Lola and the rest of the gang, while even readers new to the tales will want to read more about Vermont's favorite Dominican aunt.” —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Leigh Geiger
This is the third in a wholesome series featuring Tia Lola, a creative and caring woman from the Dominican Republic. In this volume, children from two divorced families and their now single parents come to visit Tia Lola at the same time. Tia Lola welcomes them all and decides to turn the visit into a family "camp." As the story unfolds, we learn that each child and adult faces his/her own unresolved anxieties. From the youngest, 5-year old Cari, who is scared of bugs and other critters including people, to Mami who is afraid of making another marriage commitment, each camper faces and overcomes their fears in one short week. Alvarez is careful to include a mix of boys and girls, including one girl who is better at baseball than the boys, so the story will have some appeal for both sexes. Each camper, regardless of age, is given a symbolic toy sword to help them "conquer" their demons. This lends an almost magical air to the story which will appeal to readers used to mild themes and limited action. Others may be disappointed, however, by the third person narrative and lack of focus on a specific character. As Alvarez weaves together the struggles of six very different people into one short week of camp, there is little opportunity for the reader to identify with any of them. This could be used as an effective "read aloud" story for younger children. Occasional Spanish phrases are included, but they are clearly understood within the story context. Although part of a series, this book is easily understood on its own. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews

Alvarez returns with another Tía Lola story, replete with adventure and humor.

Revisiting this charming Latino family a couple of months afterHow Tía Lola Learned to Teach(2010), readers find 11-year-old Miguel Guzman's aunt creating a magical summer camp for the Fourth of July week, complete with campfires and a nighttime treasure hunt. Víctor Espada is back in Vermont to visit, bringing his three daughters and his dog to stay at the farm. With romance blooming between Víctor and Miguel's divorced mom, Tía Lola tries to keep the peace between the five children. Meanwhile, outnumbered by the four girls and sidelined from playing baseball by an ankle injury, Miguel is beset by a plethora of worries, while his 9-year-old sister Juanita struggles to feel special among the Espada girls. Each of the children (and a couple of the adults) overcomes a challenge, thanks to Tía Lola's empathy and wisdom. The author subtly continues thematic elements of acceptance and community from the previous novels and blends Spanish words and phrases into the story, which will appeal to Latino and non-Latino readers alike.

Returning readers will rejoice in reconnecting with the effervescent Tía Lola and the rest of the gang, while even readers new to the tales will want to read more about Vermont's favorite Dominican aunt.(Fiction. 8-12)

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Fifth grade was a trial for Miguel, but summer holds the promise of carefree days and baseball. However, when he learns that his mother's friend, Victor, and his three children—all girls—are coming to stay for a week, he is sure that his entire vacation will be ruined. And to top it all off, he sustains an injury that threatens to bench him during the big game. But Tía Lola comes to the rescue, employing her wisdom, charm, and creativity to ensure a fun and memorable summer for everyone. With a playful sprinkling of Spanish phrases, this third installment takes readers on another delightful adventure with this alluring character. The third-person narrative is brimming with heartwarming fun and includes captivating splashes of magical realism. Within the subplots, Alvarez deftly touches on the feelings of children affected by divorce and the intricacies of blended families. Fans of the earlier "Tía Lola" books will not want to miss this one, but it can certainly stand on its own.—Debbie Lewis, Alachua County Library District, FL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375867279
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Series:
Tia Lola Stories Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

JULIA ALVAREZ is the author of two other beloved stories about Tía Lola, How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay and How Tía Lola Learned to Teach, in addition to several critically acclaimed books for children and adults. She is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Brief Biography

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

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