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Merci Suarez Can't Dance



by
Meg Medina

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewi
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9780763690502
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
$20.22   $16.85
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QTY

JLG Category

PG Middle Plus

In Meg Medina’s follow-up to her Newbery Medal–winning novel, Merci takes on seventh grade, with all its travails of friendship, family, love—and finding your rhythm.

Seventh grade is going to be a real trial for Merci Suárez. For science she’s got no-nonsense Mr. Ellis, who expects her to be a smart as her brother, Roli. She’s been assigned to co-manage the tiny school store with Wilson Bellevue, a boy she barely knows, but whom she might actually like. And she’s tangling again with classmate Edna Santos, who is bossier and more obnoxious than ever now that she is in charge of the annual Heart Ball.

One thing is for sure, though: Merci Suárez can’t dance—not at the Heart Ball or anywhere else. Dancing makes her almost as queasy as love does, especially now that Tía Inés, her merengue-teaching aunt, has a new man in her life. Unfortunately, Merci can’t seem to avoid love or dance for very long. She used to talk about everything with her grandfather, Lolo, but with his Alzheimer’s getting worse each day, whom can she trust to help her make sense of all the new things happening in her life? The Suárez family is back in a touching, funny story about growing up and discovering love’s many forms, including how we learn to love and believe in ourselves.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

384

Trim Size

7 4/5" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jun 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Family life. Conduct of life. Dancing. Friendship. Crushes. Alzheimer’s disease. Children with disabilities. Middle schools. Hispanic and Latino Americans. Multigenerational families.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–Now in seventh grade, Merci Suárez finds that a new school year means new responsibilities and challenges. Merci has been enlisted to work in the school store alongside her classmate Wilson, who she might have a crush on, and is still at odds with classmate Edna, who is planning the Heart Ball and maybe stealing one of Merci’s best friends. At home, Merci feels unprepared for the changes in her family: Her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s is worsening, and Tía Inez has started dating. At heart, Merci remains true to the character readers met in Merci Suárez Changes Gears and has grown alongside her readership. However, seventh grade Merci is not without her flaws. She and Edna still don’t get along, and she spies on Tía Inez even when she isn’t supposed to. When Merci is roped into running a photography booth at the Heart Ball and the equipment breaks, she tries to solve the problem herself instead of telling an adult. The struggles with friendships, responsibility, school, crushes, and jealousy that Merci and her friends face will strike a chord with many readers. A subplot about Tía Inez keeping dance classes alive for neighborhood kids who have nowhere to go after school serves as a subtle reminder of Merci’s Cuban American heritage and the socioeconomic status of families in Merci’s neighborhood versus at school. The plot moves along at a consistent and page-turning pace, and as usual Medina’s characters are excellently written and developed. Medina also touches on racism and how shared cultural heritage can bring people together unexpectedly. VERDICT Fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears will love watching how Merci and those around her grow. This sequel doesn’t disappoint and is an essential purchase for all collections.–Liz Anderson, DC P.L.

Horn Book

Merci navigates the troubles of home and seventh grade—and the gap between the two—with her irresistible combination of spirit and heart in this follow-up to the Newbery-winning Merci Suarez Changes Gears (rev. 9/18). Though she seems more self-assured these days, Merci resents the many changes taking place around her: her brother Roli away at college, Lolo’s deteriorating condition, Hannah’s growing friendship with Meric’s archenemy, about the growing confusion surrounding her new friend Wilson. At the annual “Heart Ball” school dance, Merci only wants to participate from the place she has the most confidence and control—behind the camera—but even that goes awry. Vibrant and insightful, the novel explores the complexities of friendship and family as well as first romance. All the while, Merci stays busy getting herself into trouble and finding her way out of it again. Her relationships at school strengthen, to mirror the bonds she has with her family at home, and when school and home lives merge, Merci discovers the best way to manage change is with a bit of bravery, a welcoming attitude, and people you trust. Any by the end of this funny, heartwarming book, Merci does dance—with family and friends, on an intimidating stage at her exclusive private school in the first performance of the new Suarez School of Latin Dance. JULIE ROACH

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–Now in seventh grade, Merci Suárez finds that a new school year means new responsibilities and challenges. Merci has been enlisted to work in the school store alongside her classmate Wilson, who she might have a crush on, and is still at odds with classmate Edna, who is planning the Heart Ball and maybe stealing one of Merci’s best friends. At home, Merci feels unprepared for the changes in her family: Her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s is worsening, and Tía Inez has started dating. At heart, Merci remains true to the character readers met in Merci Suárez Changes Gears and has grown alongside her readership. However, seventh grade Merci is not without her flaws. She and Edna still don’t get along, and she spies on Tía Inez even when she isn’t supposed to. When Merci is roped into running a photography booth at the Heart Ball and the equipment breaks, she tries to solve the problem herself instead of telling an adult. The struggles with friendships, responsibility, school, crushes, and jealousy that Merci and her friends face will strike a chord with many readers. A subplot about Tía Inez keeping dance classes alive for neighborhood kids who have nowhere to go after school serves as a subtle reminder of Merci’s Cuban American heritage and the socioeconomic status of families in Merci’s neighborhood versus at school. The plot moves along at a consistent and page-turning pace, and as usual Medina’s characters are excellently written and developed. Medina also touches on racism and how shared cultural heritage can bring people together unexpectedly. VERDICT Fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears will love watching how Merci and those around her grow. This sequel doesn’t disappoint and is an essential purchase for all collections.–Liz Anderson, DC P.L.

Horn Book

Merci navigates the troubles of home and seventh grade—and the gap between the two—with her irresistible combination of spirit and heart in this follow-up to the Newbery-winning Merci Suarez Changes Gears (rev. 9/18). Though she seems more self-assured these days, Merci resents the many changes taking place around her: her brother Roli away at college, Lolo’s deteriorating condition, Hannah’s growing friendship with Meric’s archenemy, about the growing confusion surrounding her new friend Wilson. At the annual “Heart Ball” school dance, Merci only wants to participate from the place she has the most confidence and control—behind the camera—but even that goes awry. Vibrant and insightful, the novel explores the complexities of friendship and family as well as first romance. All the while, Merci stays busy getting herself into trouble and finding her way out of it again. Her relationships at school strengthen, to mirror the bonds she has with her family at home, and when school and home lives merge, Merci discovers the best way to manage change is with a bit of bravery, a welcoming attitude, and people you trust. Any by the end of this funny, heartwarming book, Merci does dance—with family and friends, on an intimidating stage at her exclusive private school in the first performance of the new Suarez School of Latin Dance. JULIE ROACH

Grades 5-8
PG Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

For middle school readers who enjoy fascinating stories but want less edgy content, PGM is the perfect choice. Be assured that the 12 books offered in this category will be inoffensive to readers, teachers and parents.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Clean Books,Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,Funny/Humorous,Reluctant Readers
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Grades 5-8
PG Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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