Review and a contest!

title: BorderTown: Quince Clash

author: Malin Alegria

date: Scholastic, July, 2012

main character: Fabiana (Fabi) Garza

reading level: 5.0

That Santiago! We left him in Crossing the line standing before a judge facing several counts and now we find him in the second book hiding in his girl’s closet at 2:00am from her mafioso father! He’s Fabi’s cousin, a secondary character who fills out well-developed story lines in this new series. While Santiago struggles with deciding how to shape his identity, Fabi let’s herself get pushed into having a quinceañera that she had every intention of avoiding. She was saving to see New York, something new and different. Besides, her parents can’t afford the expense of a quinceañera. Now, her Milo, Alex and her abuela, have challenged Fabi’s rival, Melodee, to see who can throw the biggest celebration. As we’re getting to know more about Fabi’s friends, we’re realizing how little we really do know about them. What are Milo’s intentions toward Fabi? What’s up with that cutie pie Daniel? Will Fabi’s dad’s health continue to improve? And, how much is Dos Rios, TX going to continue to change?

I really enjoy the way Alegria naturally incorporates Spanish in her text. She doesn’t use the clumpy explanations to translate what’s being said and quite often, you cannot translate in context. So, I’m hoping the final copy does have a glossary. Without sounding preachy or intentional, Alegria subtly eludes to topical issues such as health care, healthy life styles and the push/pull issues of immigration when you live in a border town.

The quinceañera celebration was foreshadowed in Crossing the line and now I’m wondering which of the topics touched upon in this book will be developed in Falling too fast when it’s released in September.

Malin Alegria, who grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District, didn’t want a quinceañera herself. Here’s why.

Don’t miss your chance to win the first books in this series! I forgot to mention in announcing the contest that I will ship internationally. ¡Buena suerte!