Truth and Salsa

Truth and Salsa

4.0 1
by Linda Lowery
     
 

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Mexico is a long way from Kalamazoo—and not just in terms of miles. Almost-thirteen-year-old Hayley Flynn is spending six months with her eccentric grandmother in the rural mountain town of San Cristobal. Her father recently deserted the family and Hayley's mom needs time to, as she puts it, "work things through." Down in Mexico, everyone calls

Overview

Mexico is a long way from Kalamazoo—and not just in terms of miles. Almost-thirteen-year-old Hayley Flynn is spending six months with her eccentric grandmother in the rural mountain town of San Cristobal. Her father recently deserted the family and Hayley's mom needs time to, as she puts it, "work things through." Down in Mexico, everyone calls Hayley by her new, more glamorous chosen name, Margarita, and life is surprisingly exciting—exotic birds, beautiful butterflies, holidays, colorful fiestas, and new friends like Lili. Hayley and Lili even win parts as extras in a Hollywood movie being filmed in the town. But there are also difficult lessons to be learned. Poverty and unemployment send Lili's father and other men from the village to Michigan to work as migrant workers so they can send money back home to their anxious families. Meanwhile Hayley is on the lookout for la fantasma (the ghost) that is said to haunt her grandma's house. With Lili's help she solves the mystery—and prepares for a new life with her mom back in the States.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Hayley Flynn is not sure what to expect when she is sent to live with her grandmother in Mexico. Recently separated, her father has moved far away and her mother is undergoing treatment for depression. After the initial shock wears off, Hayley enjoys her new surroundings. Hayley and her new friend Lili are cast as movie extras, and they try to unravel a mystery posed by a computer left behind by the former occupant of the house. However, through Lili's family, Hayley learns about true poverty and the lengths that men like Lili's father will go to in order to provide for their families. When Lili's father and other migrant workers are stranded in the United States, Hayley wonders what she, a lone girl far from her home, can do to help. While mixing Mexican culture, divorce trauma, a mystery, depression, and migrant worker rights is a tall order, Lowery manages it easily. A true gem for anyone who has ever felt out of place and needed to make a new home for themselves. 2006, Peachtree, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-When Hayley Flynn's parents separate, the 12-year-old is sent to live with her grandmother in Mexico for six months. After she arrives, she becomes fast friends with a neighbor, Lili, and the two girls have a series of adventures, including solving a mystery about a ghost and being extras in a movie starring a local heartthrob. But all is not well in San Miguel. Some of the villagers who work in the States as migrant laborers are being cheated out of their salaries and cannot pay their way home. Hayley begins an e-mail campaign that helps to resolve the problem, and the men, including Lili's dad, are finally reunited with their loved ones. Hayley is a refreshing heroine, warm and realistic, who struggles with her sadness about her fractured family and expresses herself through painting. The writing is engaging, and Lowery has created a strong sense of place through vivid descriptions of local festivals, scenery, and day-to-day life in the town.-Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561454983
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
09/28/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
427,696
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Truth and Salsa 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Hayley (or Margarita, as she'll be calling herself now) is a twelve-year-old girl from Michigan, and she's (rightfully) afraid she'll stick out in Mexico. See, Haley's mother has been having some problems and her dad left, so she's being sent to live with her rather eccentric grandmother in San Miguel, Mexico, for six months. Sure, she's excited, but also more than a little nervous. Her Spanish could use some work, she's pale and freckly, and she has no idea what people wear in Mexico! Not to mention, she'll miss her mom and her friends.

Mexico turns out to be fun, though. She meets a new friend, Lili, lives in a house that may or may not be haunted, celebrates with the whole town on holidays (which are way more often than they are in the United States), and gets to be a movie extra! It's not all fun and games, though. Living in the real Mexico (meaning: not a resort in Cancun) means seeing the real Mexican problems, too: Lili's dad and some of the other men from the village work in the United States to send money home, but they run into trouble when their employer cheats them out of their pay.

TRUTH AND SALSA is an absorbing, original coming-of-age story taking place against the beautiful backdrop of Mexico. The colorful cast of characters populating this novel will quickly endear themselves to readers. TRUTH AND SALSA is a quick, well put-together, and engaging read. Those who pick it up will love Hayley and her adventures, and be introduced to a little bit of Mexican culture in the process!