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Love, Amalia Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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From School Library Journal
—Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012
“With sensitively drawn characters and a low-key story moving between present and past, the authors construct a portrait of a multigenerational immigrant family. The Latino culture of the family is reflected in the cooking the two do together, the memories Abuelita passes on, and all the letters she has kept from distant loved ones.”
—Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2012
“Ada and Zubizaretta’s (Dancing Home)…collaboration focuses on the deep bond between Mexican-American sixth-grader Amalia and her grandmother…. The authors successfully depict family love and closeness across generations and distances…. In the final chapters…the book…takes on an authentic emotional poignancy, bringing a closing richness to this story of a girl’s first experience of loss.”
—Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2012
“Amalia is upset when her best friend announces that she is moving from Chicago to California. When Martha leaves, Amalia turns to her grandmother for comfort. It is in her kitchen and at her table that the child learns not only about her family and her Mexican heritage, but also about herself…. This story utilizes a special intergenerational relationship to introduce Mexican culture and traditions within the themes of changing family and friendships. Spanish words and phrases are woven into the text…this quiet story may provide a different perspective on the loss of a loved one.”
—School Library Journal, August 2012
“Latina sixth-grader Amalia is so upset by her best friend Martha’s move from their Chicago neighborhood to California that she can’t even say good-bye. When her beloved abuelita passes away suddenly a few days later, she doesn’t even have the chance to say good-bye….Sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, this quiet story charmingly emphasizes the importance of both friendship and intergenerational relationships. It concludes with simple recipes for making some of Abuelita’s favorite desserts.”
—Booklist, August 1, 2012
“A touching portrayal of love and loss…. The emotions ring true, with Amalia’s raw pain of loss and resentment respectfully and vividly depicted.” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, September 2012)
Top Customer Reviews
Amalia remembers the fun that she had with Martha. They would hang out at the park together. They rode bikes on the weekends, visited the library, played soccer and fun word games. Together they shared a lot of interests and learned from each other. Amalia is now left with a feeling of abandonment and anger. Her Grandmother explained to her the value of friendship. She told her the story of how she would write cards and letters to family and friends and the ones she received she would keep. She advised Amalia to consider keeping in touch with Martha by sending her letters.
Grandmother shares a family history and traditions which were woven throughout her lifetime and provided a loving warmth and inspired in Amalia a longing to learn more. But, Amalia experiences more pain, her grandmother passes and she is devastated. Amalia was left a box filled with letters that her grandmother had kept over the years. She learned so much about her family. Now she must decide if whether or not she will follow in her grandmothers footsteps and connect again with Martha.
Alma Flor Ada has created another tremendous story of family and tradition. The Hispanic culture is full of glorious traditions and tasty foods. Young girls will come to love Amalia. A quick fun read, this story and its colorful journey will have young readers wanting to connect with their own families.Read more ›
But, most important in my opinion, this book is a wonderful resource for kids dealing with grief, or who know someone who is.
I really liked the way the author included the culture of the Latinos throughout the book and uplifted it. It made me want to enter the house of "Amalita" and smell the cake that her grandmother baked, and hear the soft music. I think that this book will speak to the heart of a school age child that is hurting from the loss of someone dear.
The only thing that I wondered about was the use of Spanish phrases that were sprinkled throughout the book, considering some people reading it might not understand them. I understood them because I speak Spanish, but I don't know how others might feel, particularly children that do not understand Spanish. I think that in most parts of the book, the author mostly rewrote in English (within that sentence) what the translation of the phrase was, but I am not sure that she did it every time. I know that this is a common practice in literature to be read by adults, but I personally have not seen it used in literature to be used by children that are still learning to read. It would probably be enjoyed by bilingual children, but I don't know about children that speak English only.
But one day the unexpected happens and Abuelita is gone leaving a big hole in Amalia's heart. How is Amalia going to cope with these last changes? Who is she going to talk to? How is she going to keep her abuelita's memory ALIVE? Questions are all there are in Amalia's head and heart. Amidst her sorrows, she finds the answers.....in cards, in love letters....in writing.
A wonderful story filled with love, recipes, and love cards, and loud family members....a wonderful portrait of a Latino family who comes together to find meaning in life in the most unexpected moments.
I appreciate the sense of purpose that these love letters give Amalia highlighting the importance of keeping words alive, saying what you feel, and leaving your mark for posterity....in words. A celebration of writing is part of this sweet chapter book geared for children ages 8-12.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought both English and Spanish versionsb as a gift for my Abuelita in my namesake. She loved it. Came in better than expected condition at an unbelievable price.Published 23 months ago by Amalia
Love, Amalia by Alma Flor Ada & Gabriel M. Zubizarreta, is a sweet book for young readers about loss, relationships, and the importance of family. Read morePublished on October 12, 2012 by Liz Lantigua
In Love, Amalia, Alma Flor Ada invites us into a well-crafted world of a young girl struggling with the double loss of her best friend and of her grandmother, internal strife, and... Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Joan Schoettler