Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442424029, 127pp.
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Amalia's best friend Martha is moving away, and Amalia is feeling sad and angry. And yet, even when life seems unfair, the loving, wise words of Amalia's "abuelita" have a way of making everything a little bit brighter. Amalia finds great comfort in times shared with her grandmother: cooking, listening to stories and music, learning, and looking through her treasured box of family cards.
But when another loss racks Amalia's life, nothing makes sense anymore. In her sorrow, will Amalia realize just how special she is, even when the ones she loves are no longer near?
From leading voices in Hispanic literature, this thoughtful and touching depiction of one girl's transition through loss and love is available in both English and Spanish.
Gabriel M. Zubizarreta draws from his experiences of raising his three wonderful daughters in his writing. He hopes his books will encourage young people to author their own destinies. He coauthored Dancing Home "with Alma Flor Ada. Gabriel lives in Northern California with his family and invites you to visit his website at GabrielMZubizarreta.com."
“Ada and Zubizarreta (Dancing Home, 2011) reunite to focus on a young Latina girl coping with loss…. The authors tackle issues of love, loss and familial ties with a sympathetic, light hand and blend Spanish words and Latino music and recipes into Amalia’s tale. A charming story, especially for children facing the loss of grandparents.”
—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.”