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Confetti Girl Hardcover – June 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–Lina attends middle school in Corpus Cristi, TX, has a crush on classmate Luís, loves science and sports, and has a sock obsession as a result of her pants never being long enough for her tall body. Her best friend, Vanessa Cantu, lives across the street with her mother, who is still bitter about a divorce that happened a few years earlier. Lina's mother died last year, and her father is still grieving but struggling to live up to his responsibilities. Dichos, Spanish sayings or proverbs, are translated at the top of every chapter. Spanish phrases are sprinkled throughout the text, reflecting Lina's bilingual community. The budding romance, and typical middle school events such as detention, lunchroom disasters, and reports, keep things moving. Lina is essentially a sunny, happy child and her sadness and anger are more blips on the radar than real angst. A subplot about Luís's stuttering seems extraneous. Quite typical in characters, plot, and style, this story is most notable for its casual introduction to Spanish language and culture, overtly accessible to all.–Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Employing lovely metaphors and realistic dialogue, adult author López (Sofia's Saints) delicately displays the power of optimism and innovation during difficult times."―Publishers Weekly

"An appealing coming-of-age novel...Local idioms of Spanish proverbs -- dichos -- used as chapter headings enlighten both characters and readers."―Kirkus Reviews

"López effectively portrays the Texas setting and the characters' Latino heritage....This debut novel puts at its center a likable girl facing realistic problems on her own terms."―Booklist

"Like the colorful cascarones López writes about, Confetti Girl is bursting with heartwarming cheer."―Grace Lin, author of The Year of the Dog

"A great set of characters and a fantastic story: the dichos, sayings or adages meant to shed some light on a situation, to teach a lesson, to encourage wisdom. If that's the case, then here's mine for this wonderful novel: Un libro sin abrir es una vida sin sabor (A book unread is a life unlived). So, live this book. Live its humor, its sadness, and ultimately its great joy."―René Saldaña, Jr., author of The Whole Sky Full of Stars, Finding Our Way, and The Jumping Tree

"Although Confetti Girl takes on a serious subject matter, it's also about fun, a whole semester's worth, which includes confrontations with the school's most popular boy, a school festival, volleyball, friendship, boy craziness, a quinceañera and trips to the beach - and the counselor's office."―San Antonio Express-News

"López weaves Lina's bilingual and bicultural upbringing into the narrative seamlessly, giving young Latina readers an added element to connect with."―El Paso Times

"Like a cascaron, Lina's life is full of colorful people and events, and you will want to read about every single one of them in this witty, honest novel."―Kid Reporter Claire Epting, TIME for Kids , "Summer Splash" 2009

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: William Allen White 2012, Grades 4-8
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316029556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316029551
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
CONFETTI GIRL should be a big hit with the middle grade market. It takes a Latino backdrop and combines it with likeable characters experiencing the typical ups and downs of middle school life and puts it all in a fun, eye-catching cover.

Meet Apolonia (Lina) and her crazy sock collection. She sees herself as overly tall and gawky with skinny legs, an interest in science, and a sometimes annoying directness. Lina lives with her father, a high school English teacher. Several years earlier her mother died after she fell and cut her leg. The cut was not really serious, but the blood infection that followed was.

Life has been difficult, but Lina has her best friend, Vanessa, as support. In fact, they have supported each other since Lina's mother died and Vanessa's mother went through a nasty divorce. They have weathered the events fairly well, and now are hoping that their parents can begin to adjust and live more normal lives.

Mixed in with these personal tragedies are several other plot twists. Lina's grade in English is plummeting so she finds herself ineligible for sports, the one area where she shines. Vanessa has been acting strange anytime she is around Carlos. Lina has even caught them kissing. She knows part of her anger about this is due to jealousy, since she has liked a boy named Luis for quite some time, but their relationship doesn't seem to be progressing to the same level.

Author Diana Lopez is spot-on with her descriptions of budding middle school romance, merciless teasing, and parent/child misunderstandings. Young readers will find much to like about CONFETTI GIRL, including the added bonus of the Latino words of wisdom that begin each chapter and the Hispanic customs scattered throughout the story.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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Format: Hardcover
Apolonia Flores, nicknamed Lina, struggles with her father's concept that "books are your best friends" ("Los amigos mejores son libros"). That is not true in Lina's life, and she resents that her father, who shares the sorrow of her mother's death the previous year, buries himself in books, thus distancing himself not only from sadness but also from his daughter. Luckily, though, Lina has a lot going on in her life. For one thing, she has her hobby: socks. Her dresser is divided into drawers for her daily wear socks (organized by color and style), socks without partners, socks with holes, and "sock heaven" (outgrown and otherwise useless socks). Lina is creative with her socks, fashioning earmuffs, wallets and more from them.

Lina's very best friend, Vanessa, lives just across the street. Their relationship has gotten a bit more complicated lately. Lina doesn't care that Vanessa is gorgeous and she is not. But she does mind that Vanessa does everything first, and when Vanessa's relationship with her first boyfriend progresses rapidly, Lina is not always thrilled with her own standing in Vanessa's life.

Speaking of boyfriends, Lina has a love interest, too. The very nice Luis reciprocates her fascination with him. Luis is cute and smart. His stutter (usually) doesn't distract Lina one bit from his tremendous potential.

Vanessa's mother is another in a cast of well-drawn characters. Ms. Cantu's bitterness about her husband leaving her has manifested itself in a constant marathon of cascarone making. One of the many pleasures of CONFETTI GIRL is a plentiful array of fascinating bits about Lina's culture, and we learn that cascarones are decorated empty eggshells filled with confetti. Although most people make them for Easter, Ms. Cantu makes heaps of them year-round.
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Format: Paperback
As a mother who screens everything her 11-year-old daughter reads, I loved "The Confetti Girl" by Diana Lopez for giving us a peep into a slice of American culture (Tex-Mex)that we would otherwise know little about. Even though we live in Southern California and have a number of Hispanic friends, much of what Diana Lopez talks about in "The Confetti Girl" is only what we hear by way of parking lot chit-chat or in stories from dairies written by girls living during the time of the siege of the Alamo (!): myself, I loved the inclusion of dichos in the chapter titles, the how-to in the making of cascarones in the start of the book, and the full listing of dichos at the end of the book. My only word of caution is to those who might be inspired to make wedding cascarones after reading this book: use bird seed instead of rice! Otherwise, the book is a lovely celebration of what it means to be an American girl of Hispanic heritage, and easily enjoyed by those who are not. In the words of said daughter:

"The book, `The Confetti Girl', by Diana Lopez is as colorful as the cascarones Lopez writes about.

"Apolonia `Lina' Flores is best friend to boy-crazy Vanessa; a science lover (although her dad thinks she likes English just because he does); a sock enthusiast; daughter of a widower and in love with Luis, a stuttering, cute, funny, smart boy who is very good at singing. Like cascarones, hollowed eggshells filled with a bright rainbow of confetti, Lina is many different colors in an eggshell. The book was very interesting in showing how Lina's life goes up and down through all her teenage troubles.
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