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How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Tia Lola #1)
by Julia Alvarez
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 8-10
LEXILE READING LEVEL: 740L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2001
NO. PAGES: 147
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Male
SERIES: Tia Lola
SEQUEL: How Tia Lola Learned to Teach (Tia Lola #2)
ISBN: 0375802150
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Tia Lola #1)—Book Review

Soon-to-be ten year old Miguel and his younger sister Juanita have just moved from New York City to an old farmhouse in Vermont after their parents' divorce, and they are finding that transitions like this are not easy. Miguel is having trouble making friends because he feels different from the other kids, and this new small town just doesn't feel like home. When their mom needs extra help with the kids because she works all day, she asks her Tia Lola from back home in the Dominican Republic to come stay. Tia Lola is the most flamboyant lady Miguel and Juanita have ever seen! And she brings all sorts of strange things with her, like musical instruments, spices, and foods that the kids have never heard of before. At first Miguel is embarrassed by Tia Lola and tries to keep her a secret from the new friends he is making, but eventually Miguel comes to see that there is something rather magical about his aunt, and he may not want her to leave after all.
The Scoop
How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Tia Lola #1)—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

How Tia Lola Came to Stay is the first of four books in the Tia Lola series and introduces the reader to this wonderful and loving character. Miguel and Juanita struggle with their new circumstances after their parents' split and Tia Lola's presence is just what they need to come together as siblings. The divorce seems amicable, but the kids do see their Mami feeling sad, and they wonder why their Papi can't be with them more often. Even though Tia Lola is Mami's aunt, she is still on good terms with Papi and takes the children to visit him in New York. There are lovely lessons in this wholesome read about learning to embrace the place where you are, and knowing that you are truly home when you are simply with the people you love. There are lots of Spanish phrases that kids may recognize if they have studied the language a bit, though they are also translated in the text if they haven't. This book would make a good read aloud for a young co-ed audience.
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How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Tia Lola #1)—Book Review

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