Just as Saturday mornings were reserved for kids’ cartoons on 50s and 60s TV programming, PWR reserves Saturday Mornings for reviews of kids’ books. Today’s recommendation was previously used for a First Line Fridays’ post.
Today’s book is the awaited sequel to…
…by my favorite children’s author…
As noted in the “Friday Firstliners”post, The Other Side of the River begins minutes after The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna leaves off. Barefoot Dreams ended with a cliffhanger, and now that River is coming out September 2nd, we can finally exhale.
Petra Luna is a tween, but her responsibilities are those of an adult. Set in San Antonio, this historical novel, based on the stories of Alda Dobbs’ great grandmother, have been researched extensively to confirm the tales her grandmother spun of her early life. As an immigrant in the United States, she is the primary provider for her grandmother, her sister, and her baby brother. Dedicated to her promise to keep the family together after the death of her mother and the Federalies’ conscription of her father, Petra faces new adventures in her new home. Tricked by unscrupulous people and aided by others, Petra works hard and never forgets her dream of learning to read and write. As she meets the Chili Queens, the kindly nuns of the convent and other indigenous characters to the Mexican-flavored society of San Antonio, she manages to keep her family afloat and to search for news of her father.
The story is one that kept this reader turning pages, and although I was skeptical of whether this sequel could incorporate the adventures (or misadventures) of Barefoot Dreams, I was rewarded with breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat scenes that kept me up late because I was rooting so hard for Petra, and couldn’t wait until morning to see how the book “came out.”
It is definitely a darned good read for kids and adults alike. Even younger kids could enjoy Petra’s story when read to, and the novel has something for everyone. I highly recommend it.