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How Tia Lola Learned to Teach (The Tia Lola Stories) Hardcover – October 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–This sequel to How Tía Lola Came to Visit/Stay (Knopf, 2001) continues the story of the Guzman family: 8-year-old Juanita, 10-year-old Miguel, and irrepressible Tía Lola. The new school year has begun and the children's aunt has been invited to teach Spanish a few days a week, a prospect that first alarms her since she never finished school when she was growing up in the Dominican Republic. But the woman is a born teacher, full of life, enthusiasm, and a wise saying for every situation. Lola quickly finds herself a favorite at school, charming all with her stories and personality, organizing parties and treasure hunts, and involving everyone in their small Vermont town in her plans. Along the way, she also helps Miguel and Juanita adjust to their parents' divorce, the separation from their father, who lives in New York City, and a possible new stepmother. When the residents of the town learn that Lola's immigration status is in jeopardy, they rally behind her to convince the judge the entire town needs their “Tía.” Each chapter begins with one of Lola's maxims to set the stage, and Spanish words and phrases are clearly used throughout. A welcome return for a wonderful character whose heart encompasses the whole world.–Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Just as warm and upbeat as How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay (2001), the second book about Miguel and Juanita’s aunt, who comes from the Dominican Republic to live with the kids’ family in Vermont, is written in the same lively, playful style. Language is a central focus as Tía Lola volunteers to teach Spanish in the local elementary school. The story builds to a tense climax when her visa is about to expire, and the whole town rallies for her to stay. Readers will enjoy both the messages and the humor in Tía’s wry, wise sayings. Grades 4-7. --Hazel Rochman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Tia Lola Stories
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375864601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375864605
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julia Alvarez has bridged the Americas many times. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist, author of world-renowned books in each of the genres, including How the García Girls Lost their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Something to Declare. She lives on a farmstead outside Middlebury, Vermont, with her husband Bill Eichner. Visit Julia's Web site here to find out more about her writing.

Julia and Bill own an organic coffee farm called Alta Gracia in her native country of the Dominican Republic. Their specialty coffee is grown high in the mountains on what was once depleted pastureland. Not only do they grow coffee at Alta Gracia, but they also work to bring social, environmental, spiritual, and political change for the families who work on their farm. They use the traditional methods of shad-grown coffee farming in order to protect the environment, they pay their farmers a fair and living wage, and they have a school on their farm where children and adults learn to read and write. For more information about Alta Gracia, visit their website.

Belkis Ramírez, who created the woodcuts for A Cafecito Story, is one of the most celebrated artists in the Dominican Republic.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
HOW TIA LOLA LEARNED TO READ by Julia Alvarez joins other Tia Lola stories and tells of Tia, who has been invited to teach Spanish at her niece and nephew's elementary school. But Miguel hates living far from Papi. And even though his little sister joins in the fun with her aunt, Miguel isn't sure he wants to try a new life in this fine story, a sequel to HOW TIA LOLA CAME TO STAY.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Miguel and his younger sister Juanita live in Vermont with their mother and tia Lola. Lola moved from the Dominican Republic to help look after the kids after the divorce. Miguel and Juanita both go to Bridgeport elementary. Miguel is in the fifth grade. Juanita in third.

Lola's English isn't every good but the family convinces her to volunteer at the school, teaching Spanish. I really enjoyed this story, it was such a pleasure to read. All the characters voices are very realistic. I loved feeling connected to whole Guzman family through the short chapters.

Only 132 pages and it's a very well layered story. Besides tia Lola, getting the confidence to teach, Miguel's getting used to his father's new girlfriend, Juanita is discovering the joy of reading. There is much more to this story, including a little unexpected magic of imagination, which I loved.

"Juanita's head is in the clouds. She sits in her third grade classroom, riding a unicorn from medieval times. She tries to add all the numbers on the board and ends up going down a sixty foot rabbit hole. She gets up to anwer a quesiton and is suddenly airborne on a magic carpet, headed for the sultan's court. But wait someone is calling her name."

The chapters alternate between brother and sister. Tia Lola loves Dichos - Spanish sayings. All the chapter's are dichos, written in Spanish and English. Alvarez easily blends in the dichos and the lessons learned by Miguel and Juanita into the story.

This is the second book in the Tia Lola series. I haven't read the first one, "How Tia Lola came to (visit) stay", but I didn't miss a beat. This one works very well on its own. Though I enjoyed it so much I now want to read the first one. Ages 8 up
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Format: Paperback
In this warm and wonderful second book of the Tía Lola Stories, Tía Lola proves yet again that she is a force to be reckoned with. The first of her tales, How Tía Lola Came to Stay, shows her journey from the Dominican Republic to help raise her newly divorced niece’s children, Miguel and Juanita, and this charming sequel picks right up at the beginning of a new school year. Though Tía Lola has only a fourth grade education and limited English under her belt, she has been asked to teach Spanish to the children at Miguel and Juanita’s school. Will she be able to fit in and keep her spirited young relatives from being embarrassed by her strange colorful clothes and funny sayings? As Tía Lola would say, con pacienca y con calma, se subió un burro en una palma (with patience and calm, even a donkey can climb a palm).

Soon enough, her enthusiasm and splendid imagination win over the whole community, who rejoice in her treasure hunts and piñatas and Carnaval fiestas. Along the way, Tía Lola has enough wisdom and patience to spend on Miguel and Juanita, who are still coping with their parents’ divorce and the prospect of their Papi remarrying. Worse yet—a letter from the immigration office has arrived for their aunt. Now that she is so tightly sown into the fabric of their small community, will Tía Lola have to go back to the Dominican Republic? This multicultural tale of family, friendship, and community is sure to delight middle readers, especially those who are interested in learning about Hispanic customs and language.

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By Ty Games on March 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the Spanish and if I take an accelerated reader quiz on this I will reach the 200 point club YAY!!!!
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By MA CRISTINA MAYORGA ROJAS on October 30, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Muy bueno
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