Merci Suárez Changes Gears

By: Meg Medina

At school, Merci is the target of a bossy classmate’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either; Merci’s grandfather, Lolo, has been acting strange lately and no one in the family will tell her why.

ISBN: 9780763690496

JLG Release: Nov 2018


Sensitive Areas: Brief mentions of knife and gun violence
Topics: Family life , Social issues , Alzheimer’s disease , Middle schools , Hispanic and Latino , Scholarships , Friends , Multigenerational families , Grandfathers

$16.30  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

Booklist Top 10 Sports Books for Youth 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, School Library Journal*, Kirkus Reviews*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews*

School Library Journal

Eleven-year-old Merci Suárez is starting sixth grade and everything is changing. Not only do upper graders have to switch teachers throughout the day, but playing sports, like Merci loves to do, is seen as babyish and befriending boys is taboo. So when Merci is assigned to show new kid Michael Clark around as part of her scholarship package at Sea Eleven-year-old Merci Suárez is starting sixth grade and everything is changing. Not only do upper graders have to switch teachers throughout the day, but playing sports, like Merci loves to do, is seen as babyish and befriending boys is taboo. So when Merci is assigned to show new kid Michael Clark around as part of her scholarship package at Seaward Pines Academy, it’s a problem. Especially when the richest, smartest, most popular girl in school, Edna, who gets to write the sixth grade’s social rules and break them, too, seems to like Michael. Meanwhile, at home, Merci has to watch over her little twin cousins who live close by at Las Casitas, a row of houses belonging to Mami and Papi; Abuela and Lolo; and Tia, for free, so trying out for the school’s soccer team and earning money to buy her dream bike is almost impossible. What’s worse, Merci can’t even talk to her beloved Lolo about all her problems like she used to as he starts acting less and less like himself. The realistic portrayal of a complex young Latina’s life is one many readers will relate to as she discovers that change can be hard, but it’s the ride that matters. VERDICT Pura Belpré–winning author Medina cruises into readers’ hearts with this luminous middle grade novel. A winning addition to any library’s shelves.–Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, IL, School Library Journal

Horn Book

Working-class Cuban American girl Mercedes “Merci” Suárez’s life in South Florida consists of spending time with her extended family and attending elite Seaward Pines Academy, where the sixth grader does community service to pay for her tuition. Now in her second year, Merci must participate in the Sunshine Buddies program, mentoring new-kid Working-class Cuban American girl Mercedes “Merci” Suárez’s life in South Florida consists of spending time with her extended family and attending elite Seaward Pines Academy, where the sixth grader does community service to pay for her tuition. Now in her second year, Merci must participate in the Sunshine Buddies program, mentoring new-kid Michael Clark (“a boy!”), and enduring the teasing of mean girl Edna Santos. In the midst of growing up and trying to find a school-life balance, she experiences the power dynamics between her Mami and Papi; navigates her relationship with her studious brother Roli; witnesses the struggles of her tía, Inéz, as she runs a bakery and raises young twins; and worries about her abuelo, Lolo, who no longer seems like himself. Medina brings depth, warmth, and heart to her characters and their voices, because she never shies away from portraying this family’s flaws and includes frank conversations around difficult issues, such as Alzheimer’s. Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, rev. 3/13; Burn Baby Burn, rev. 3/16) consistently and assuredly portrays Latinx girls and women who grapple with their insecurities while learning about themselves and their worlds, and middle-grade heroine Merci is a fine example. Accurate and natural use of Spanish words and sayings that fit each character’s tone builds authenticity. Medina writes with sincerity and humor to convey the experience of growing up in a close-knit family that tends to mingle too much in each other’s business while unfailingly and dedicatedly supporting and helping one another. sujei lugo

Book Details

ISBN

9780763690496

First Release

November 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

7 3/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Brief mentions of knife and gun violence

Topics

Family life, Social issues, Alzheimer’s disease, Middle schools, Hispanic and Latino, Scholarships, Friends, Multigenerational families, Grandfathers,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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