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afterwhat

Dancing Home - Alma Flor Ada, Gabriel M. Zubizarreta Margarita, who goes by Margie, just wants to fit in. She was born in America, and she is American, and she wants to forget--wants everyone else to forget--that her parents are both from Mexico. That they speak Spanish at home and have family in Mexico and are...well, Mexican. That gets a lot more difficult when Margie's cousin, Lupe, comes to live with her family. Lupe has lived in Mexico her entire life, has a long, black braid just like all the stereotypical Mexican girls, and she doesn't speak English, really, at all.

Oh, gee, what can I say. I love the cover of this book. I like the idea of this book--a little girl forced to confront and eventually accept her Mexican heritage at the same time as her cousin is wishing away all the new American oddness in her life and finding comfort in the Spanish language and the traditions of Mexico. But it didn't really work for me. I felt like the author was maybe underestimating her audience--it was just too dumbed down, overly didactic. And while I think all of the--the dolphins and elephants--were part of an attempt to tie the story in with the A Margarita poem, um. I don't know. I was distracted by the marine biology stuff. And Camille was 100% Too Conveniently Located Mary Sue.