With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin

With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin

3.8 7
by Carol Weston, Marci Roth
     
 

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The third of the popular Melanie Martin books finds Melanie in Spain—and caught up in her first romance!

Dear Diary, All of us are excited about this vacation, but Mom might be too excited.

Mel is back and off to Spain, the land of bullfights, flamenco, and Picasso. But this is no ordinary vacation—the Martins are visiting Mom’sSee more details below

Overview

The third of the popular Melanie Martin books finds Melanie in Spain—and caught up in her first romance!

Dear Diary, All of us are excited about this vacation, but Mom might be too excited.

Mel is back and off to Spain, the land of bullfights, flamenco, and Picasso. But this is no ordinary vacation—the Martins are visiting Mom’s old boyfriend. Mel’s worried that Mom might still have feelings for Antonio . . . until she meets Antonio’s son, Miguel, who’s almost exactly Mel’s age—and cute! So instead of spying on Mom for Dad, she ends up getting pretty distracted herself. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Series fans can discover the latest doings of favorite characters in a number of spring novels. The globetrotter returns to Europe in With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin by Carol Weston, the third of the heroine's diary-style, first-person adventures. Beyond Melanie's crush on a young Spaniard and her mother meeting up with an old flame, the book features a healthy amount of Spanish art, history and vocabulary, translated quasi-phonetically by the spunky narrator, from "toreros (Tore Air Ohs)" to "caballero (Cob Eye Yair Oh)." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Being in love for the first time and being in Spain, eleven-year-old Melanie keeps a diary of her family's trip. Included are Spanish words and lessons on a variety of artists (VanGogh, Picasso, Goyo, etc.) as the family visits museums in Madrid and Barcelona and experience the Spanish culture. At first Melanie, although excited about the trip, is leery of her mother's motives. They plan to meet Antonio, her mother's high school sweetheart during her junior year abroad. Distracted by her own infatuation with Antonio's son, Miguel, Melanie temporarily forgives her mother. On the way home her mother and Melanie have a heart-to-heart talk about old flames and now both have something in common. Her mother explains that Antonio was, above all, a good friend and a part of her life she does not want to lose. Melanie's father is still the love of her life and she would not trade Melanie, her father, or her brother for anything. Because of Melanie's friendship with Miguel, she comes to an understanding of her mother's relationship with Antonio. Melanie is a good role model for pre-adolescent girls and shows a good way to resolve a first-love, long-distant situation. 2004, Alfred A Knopf, Ages 12 to 14.
—Janet L. Rose
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Melanie is back in her third adventure as she and her family vacation in Spain. The 11-year-old reveals her trials and triumphs in her diary, scattering goofy poems and the pronunciation of Spanish words throughout. Her brother, "Matt the Brat," is a source of both entertainment and exasperation with his bathroom humor, and Melanie is worried about her parents as they spend time with her mother's old flame. Despite her needless anxiety, she discovers that Antonio has an attractive, 12-year-old son, Miguel. The Martins attend a bullfight in Valencia, explore museums in Madrid, and enjoy flamenco dancing in Seville. Along the way, Melanie develops a crush on Miguel, who travels with them to several sites, and must deal with the pain of saying good-bye at journey's end. She is a likable, realistic character, and the book contains a lot of humor and drama. The diary confessions ring true, and fans of her previous novels will enjoy this sequel, although new readers could easily get into the story. A great choice for those who enjoy diary-format fiction or funny stories about growing up.-Alison Grant, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Fun. Fun. Fun." --Kirkus

"Appealing young heroine" --Vanity Fair

"Agreat children’s book" -—New York Daily News

"Achingly real…especially gratifying" —-Booklist

"Laugh out loud funny" --School Library Journal

"Charming…right as rain" --Family Fun

"Big fun for wise kids and their parents" --Philadelphia Inquirer

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307493293
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/02/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
755,041
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

March 16

Dear Diary,
Four more hours till we land in SPAIN!!
If I didn’t have my seat belt on, I’d be jumping UP AND DOWN.


We have been waiting waiting waiting for spring break and it’s finally here! NO early-morning wake-ups, NO pop quizzes, and NO homework–for two weeks anyway.
Since Dad had to go to Madrid on business, Mom used frequent-flyer miles so we could all tag along.
Today they picked us up after school, and we went straight to the airport.
I’m excited about this trip because I speak Spanish– hablo español (Ah Blow S Pon Yole). Not fluently or anything, but I know how to count. One is uno (Oo No), two is dos (Dose), and three is tres (Trace). I can also say hi, which is hola (Oh La), and lots of other words.
I hope I meet a nice Spanish girl so I can learn more.
Right now I’m in seat 22 next to Matt the Brat. He asked me, “Are the street signs in Spain in Spanish?”
“Duh,” I said, and made a how-stupid-can-you-get face.
“Wrong!” He laughed. “They’re in sign language!”
Believe it or not, that joke was better than some of his other second-grade humor. In the taxi, for instance, Matt said, “What goes ha-ha-ha-ha-splat?” I said, “What?” and he said, “A man laughing his head off.”
Well, that was so lame that I said, “You came out funny. That’s why Mom and Dad stopped having kids after they had you.”
He said, “You came out funny. That’s why Mom and Dad had me.”
Fortunately, Matt is now asleep. His eyes are closed and his mouth is open. Mom and Dad told us to try to sleep because when we arrive, it will be morning of a brand-new day–ready or not.
Problem is, I’m not sleepy. Something is bothering me.
All of us are excited about this vacation, but Mom might be too excited.
An old friend of hers is picking us up at the airport.
And not just any old friend. An old boyfriend!
And not just any old boyfriend. A “serious” old boyfriend.
His name is Antonio (On Toe Knee Oh).
All I know about him is that he smokes–which is disgusting. And he speaks English but makes mistakes. And he has a kid. And his last name is Ramón (Rah Moan).
How could Mom have gone out with someone who can’t speak English without making mistakes? And who smokes??
Last weekend Mom showed me ancient photos of them together. In one, they were holding hands at a zoo. In another, they had their arms around each other in front of a castle.
Mom’s friend Lori was visiting, and she and Mom started looking at scrapbooks and giggling as if they were still college roommates.
“I can’t believe you and Antonio have started e-mailing!” Lori said.
“I can’t believe I’m about to see him after all these years!” Mom answered.
“That’s my fantasy,” Lori said. “To see an old boyfriend when I’m with my husband and kids. No, wait! I think my fantasy is to see an old boyfriend when I’m all by myself!” Lori laughed and laughed. It made me feel w-e-i-r-d. “Think he’s still tall, dark, and handsome?”
“Who knows?” Mom answered.
“Well, get your beauty sleep on the plane,” Lori said as she was leaving. “And give Antonio a big kiss for me.”
Get this: Mom asked, “How big?” and they both giggled!
I wonder if Mom and Antonio ever did kiss.
Is that a dumb thing to wonder? Obviously, they must have.
I was tempted to say something to Mom, but I didn’t want her to think I was eavesdropping.
Which I wasn’t. I was in the kitchen finding common denominators of fractions and I accidentally overheard their conversation.
I have to say, Mom has been acting strange all week.
On Monday, she bought a lip gloss and a pink scarf. On Tuesday, she got a haircut even though her hair looked perfectly fine. On Wednesday, she had a manicure. (Mom hardly ever gets her nails done.) Yesterday, she bought a blouse and a pair of pants.
I called Cecily to tell her about Mom’s giggling and shopping and makeover. Cecily pointed out that she and I like giggling and shopping and makeovers and said, “Don’t worry.” She always tells me not to worry. But I always end up worrying.
I thought about asking Dad if he’s noticed anything suspicious. I even considered warning him that Mom is trying to look good for her ex Spanish Sweetheart.
Would that be betraying Mom?
Maybe I am making too big a deal of this.
Maybe not!
By the way, for my birthday, I got a new diary–you!–which I saved for this plane ride. But now I’m going to put you away and wrap the airplane blanket around myself (and Hedgie) so we can try to fall asleep.
I was going to bring a different stuffed animal and leave Hedgehog safe at home. But I couldn’t bear to. (Or hedgehog to, get it?) Matt did leave DogDog behind. He said he couldn’t stand it if DogDog got lost again like on our last trip. So he brought his penguin, Flappy Happy. It is black and white with a yellow beak and trusting eyes.
Good night, or as they say in Spain, Good nights.
Buenas Noches (Bway Nahs No Case)

Melanie Martin
Above the Clouds

From the Hardcover edition.

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