Maria From Sesame Street Writes a Stellar YA Novel

I was looking for a book for our child about a Spanish speaking child their age. I found treasure with The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano from Scholastic Books. The story is about a teenager in New York’s Spanish Harlem who grows up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in the late 1960s. She learns about the Latin Lords who are asking for changes for the community. Evelyn must decide if she will protest with them like her grandmother or avoid conflict like her mother.

As I began the book, I was drawn in by the skillful storyteller, Sonia Manzano. People from the United States will recognize her from her 44 years on Sesame Street as María. What I hadn’t known before was that she was also one of the writers for that classic show. In the YA novel, Manzano’s skilled prose is excellent at showing not telling, the description of the grandmother’s clothes strewn around what used to be Evelyn’s room is an example of one way grandma’s living with the family affects the teen.

Sonia Manzano brings in culture from growing up Puerto Rican herself in the South Bronx; Spanish sayings, community relationships, history, food, fashion, hair, and cultural expectations. She combines them seamlessly, giving us us a book as delicious as Borinquén (PR) cooking. Manzano brings us into the barrio of her grandmother in this book of historical fiction and makes us feel at home.

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano gets 5 out of 5 stars.

What are you reading this month?

Gracias for visiting Fake Flamenco! I appreciate your comments. ¡Olé! –Rebecca

Sonia Manzano aka María on Sesame Street Photo: fourandsixty

Rebecca Cuningham

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