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Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring Hardcover – March 27, 2018
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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About the Author
Angela's second middle grade novel, Allie, First At Last, was published by Scholastic Press in 2016 and received a starred-review from Kirkus calling it a"sweet middle-grade read" that "beautifully depicts the loving intergenerational bond between Bisabuelo and his young great-grandkids." Publisher's Weekly called Allie, First At Last an "earnest story...laced with Mexican-American language and filled with gentle humor, big lessons, and even bigger heart."
Angela's next middle-grade novel, Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, tells the story of eleven-year-old Paloma Marquez, who accompanies her mom on a trip to Mexico, Paloma's deceased father's birth country. On her first night in Mexico, Paloma is quickly entangled in a mystery involving an artifact once owned by the artist Frida Kahlo. The book is available for pre-order and will be released by Scholastic in March 2018. Angela is also the author of the junior novelization of Disney Pixar's animated film, Coco, to be released October 10, 2017. Presently, she is working on her fifth middle-grade novel. Angela writes from her home in Kansas City.
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A fan of a modern-day Nancy Drew-type book series, Paloma is unexpectedly encouraged to sleuth for a lost jewelry piece (tied to the famed artist) -- thus, ironically, she adopts her heroine's detective role. But she begins to face confusion and dilemmas, when her new friends and acquaintances appear to be tied to a high-stakes robbery. Along the way, Paloma gains an appreciation for her late father's Mexican heritage.
If any parents are concerned their kids might be exposed to Frida's politics or trysts through this tale, rest assured the book focuses instead on Frida's art. My main critique: I would've preferred seeing one scenario (involving a smartphone light) re-worded, to avoid what initially seemed to me a contradiction. My favorite character was the fortune-telling street vendor. I strongly enjoyed the "Author's Note" at the end, explaining the real-life inspirations to this novel.