Friday, September 7, 2012

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
By Sonia Manzano
Scholastic Press
224 pages

Evelyn (Maria) Serrano is sick of the barrio; she’s sick of Mami’s plastic flowers and cheesy slipcovers, sick of the lacy doilies Mami puts under every knick-knack, and sick to death of her mother’s pathetic attitude and slave like behavior (the book is set in the 1960s). Evelyn will never become a slave to her husband or household. She’s a free-thinking girl with moxie and a mouth that sometimes gets her into trouble!

When Abuela comes to visit, tension soon fills the apartment. Mami and Abuela fight over everything. Abuela was raised in Puerto Rico and remembers the turmoil and people being fired upon by the army. She doesn’t want her people to forget their struggles. Her cause is now the barrio. She wants to join the young men who are marching and protesting for better housing, jobs, education, and cleaning up their tenements. Mami wants nothing to do with the young “hippies” and forbids Evelyn from joining their ranks—forbidding something--the one way to insure that your child will do just what you don’t want them to do!

Evelyn fights the good fight and sees what her countrymen (and women) are fighting for. She has an “a-ha” moment or two and finally embraces her given name: Maria.
The back cover quotes from Julia Alvarez, Pam Munoz Ryan and others believe that this book is important for history and the Latino struggle. This is a good book to pair with common core non-fiction and Latino studies. The cover has no wide ya appeal; however, maybe the publisher was trying to attract the historical fiction few (I won't say crowd because historical fiction is not a "cool" genre to most teens).

Recommended grades 7-up. No language. No sex.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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