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How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Tia Lola Stories #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,205 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Miguel embarks on a journey of self-discovery when Tia Lola, his eccentric aunt from the Dominican Republic, comes to live with them after his Mami's divorce.
Hardcover, 147 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published 2001)
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Ms. Cofield
Feb 04, 2015 Ms. Cofield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tia Lola is visiting her family in Vermont--Mami, Miguel and Juanita and quickly captures your heart! She will make you wish that she was your aunt. We take a journey with the young boy, Miguel trying to cope with his parents lingering divorce as well as coping with moving from the hustle and bustle of New York to the quieter, slower paced life of Vermont. The author, Julia Alvarez, does a great job documenting Miguel's growing comfort with his aunt.

I love how the book was written in English and
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I wish I had a aunt like Tia Lola! The story is told in the first person by Miguel, who has just moved from New York City to rural Vermont with his sister and mother after his parents' divorce. Tia Lola, their mother's aunt, comes from the Dominican Republic to look after them. Tia Lola is an irresistibly likeable character, naturally friendly and able to communicate despite knowing no English. In the course of the year in which the story takes place the whole family--in fact, the whole town--gr ...more
Tia Lola comes to Vermont to visit Linda Guzman and her children, Juanita and Miguel. They've recently moved there from New York after their parent's divorce. Miguel is a slightly embarrassed by his Spanish speaking, flamboyant, eccentric, yet loving and wise aunt. As her visit extends into many months, the whole family comes to rely on Lola for her heart-warming stories, her delicious, spicy food and her magic way with people. Many months later when Christmas rolls around, Miguel can think of o ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Such a great book, happy throughout! Despite the fact that the family in this book is dealing with a divorce, the characters are energized by Tia Lola who comes from the Dominican Republic to help care for the kids in their new home in Vermont. Tia, who knows no English, knows how to have fun and her energy brings love & friendship to the family.
Jun 18, 2008 Kara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Kara by: I saw it at the library
Julia Alvarez is a good author, but based on this book she isn't suited for writing young adult novels. I felt like she dumbed her book down so that young adults would understand her... but young adults really aren't that dumb! The story could have been a nice story but trying to teach spanish seemed to be more important to the author then developing the story.
Jan 02, 2017 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this a lovely little read about coming to terms with change and family ties. And, I think the child perspective is key in making this such a good read. The main character recognizes when he's wrong and can readily admit it in ways I think an adult would have trouble with. But, he still makes mistakes and chooses poorly. It's a very eyes-open take on how we feel about our families.
Meghan Lynn
Jan 16, 2017 Meghan Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a cute novel! I love how it includes so many mistakes that Tia Lola makes as she learns English and the children learning Spanish. It really captures a bilingual life.
Christina Cabezas
Dec 04, 2015 Christina Cabezas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay
Author: Julia Alvarez
Genre: Chapter book, contemporary fiction
Theme(s): Acceptance, family, heritage, multicultural
Opening line/sentence:
"Why can't we just call her Aunt Lola?" Miguel asks his mother.

Brief Book Summary:
Miguel is a young boy who has just moved to Vermont from New York City with his younger sister and his mother. Things are hard enough for Miguel-adjusting to a new neighborhood, trying to make new friends- until his Tía comes into town fro
“Había una vez…” Tía Lola begins. Once upon a time....And Miguel feels a secret self, different from his normal everyday self, rising up like steam from a boiling kettle into the air and disappearing inside Tía Lola’s stories. (18)

Tía Lola has a wonderful ability to transport those around her into an other world; one filled with vibrant color, foreign languages, and hope. For the Reader, Julia Alvarez does the same. In the terribly familiar landscapes of divorce, moving homes, rental agreements,
Margaret Bussan
This was a story that reminded me of The Best Bad Thing by Yoshiko Uchida. The main character Miguel had gone through a rough time. He had been bullied because of his name and he was feeling sad. When his aunt comes from the Dominican Republic, he realizes how making her feel better and more at home will help him, too. This would be a fantastic story for 3rd graders and 4th graders.
Sep 25, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While in the DR, I wanted to read something linked to the area, but everything 'adult' by Alvarez seemed heavy. This story is cute and moves quickly, and is geared for tweens. I did learn some DR Spanish, too. I'll probably check out her heavy books, eventually.
I recently recommended this to someone and was all set to send a link to my review, only to be shocked that I’d never written it up! It’s a great family read if you’re in one of the frozen parts of the country right now. Tia Lola will bring plenty of warmth and excitement to your house, just as she brightened snowy Vermont for her niece and nephew. I taught this in my third grade class for years as part of an immigration unit and it was a hit. It was great having a modern option that was really ...more
Esther Moss
Cuando Tia Lola Vino (de visita) a qudarse/How Tia Lola Came to (visit) Stay

Reading level: 4.8 (graded) 740 (lexile) R (guided reading)

Book level: although this book is graded for a late-in-the-year fourth grader, the themes would be appealing and accessible to advanced 3rd or even 2nd grade readers. 5th grade is probably the oldest grade that would enjoy reading it - any older than that, I think it would seem to "little kidd-y"

Summary: Julia Alvarez tells the story of a Puerto Rican-American fa
Chris Maynard
Student Name: Chris Maynard

Purpose: Multicultural Literature (Wide Reading Project)

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Format: Novel

Grade level: Intermediate (ages 9-12, grades 4-5)

Subjects/Themes: See above bookshelves

School use: If I owned this book, I would have it in my classroom library and refer it to Latino students whose parents may be going through divorce, as it offers much relevance in terms of the feelings that children experience when their parents suddenly split. As described in my review, th
Amanda B.
I actually read the Spanish version of this book, to test how well I could read and comprehend in Spanish. Every year I have been picking up interesting books but i thought it would be nice to try reading in Spanish. To start on my journey, I took a book my sister had read in efforts of pursuing the same thing. I know it is an easy book in English but when you read something in a different language, it's much different. Fortunately, it was a Julia Alvarez book because I really enjoy reading her ...more
Apr 29, 2012 H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-bluestem
More of a 2-1/2 than a 3. This is the story of 10 year old Miguel, who must cope with a relocation from New York City to Vermont (where his dark skin and Spanish name set him apart), his parents' separation, and the arrival of Tia Lola from the Dominican Republic. Tia Lola is like a wild parrot in the staid town Miguel must now live in, and he swings between loving her stories and food to being acutely embarassed of her exuberant ways, disastrous attempts at English, and santeria influenced beli ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Foster
Mar 07, 2012 Andrew Foster rated it it was amazing
Grade Level: 3rd to 5th

I really enjoyed this book. There is a surprising amount of humor that children reading this book would get. The premise of the book is that Miguel's parents have divorced and Tia Lola is coming from the Dominican Republic to help his mom. She speaks no English. First, Miguel is embarrassed but as the story progresses, Miguel learns from his aunt how to make friends, no matter what language you speak, and that home is where the ones you loved are, even if your parents are
Angel Cortes
this book is about a girl named juanita and a boy named miguel. and a spanish speaking aunt named lola. lola is the aunt of miguel and juanita. they call her tia lola. as soon as tia lola came from the the airport she was just crazy. she didnt know any english and she was dresses to people in vermont abnormally. so when miguel found her they greeted her and they sent her to their mother. and from there the crazy continued. she got to their house and she unpacked and all of her clothes looked lik ...more
I read this because it's something we're thinking about using with our sixth graders next year. I think it's a really cute novel and one that will appeal to kids with a Spanish or Spanglish background. I liked that Alvarez gave the kids some "real" problems, such as their parents' divorce and the fact that they faced bullying when they moved to their new town, but it was a pretty light book overall. I thought Tia Lola was a very interesting character and a lot of kids would likely be able to rel ...more
Fahar Jumma
Dec 31, 2012 Fahar Jumma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my December’s good reads I read the book “How Tia Lola Came To (Visit) Stay” by Julia Alvarez. This book is about two kids named Juanita, Miguel, and their Tia (aunt) Lola. When Miguel’s aunt (Tia Lola) comes from the Dominican Republic to stay with his mom, sister and him in their new house in Vermont, Miguel was embarrassed by her poor English skills and extroverted nature. His parents also just got a divorce and Miguel misses his Dad, who is still lives in New York.

One Thin that I didn’t
So, my 6th grader got into our first choice school 10 days before the semester started. And he was supposed to have read 2 books from a list. The registration woman told us 1 would be fine since he had 10 days.

So, off we went to the library. We found 3 books on the list. One was long and he could never read in 10 days (though it looked good). One was Hoot, which he wants to read but is currently halfway through Chomp (not on the list, bummer!). And the third was this one.

So, OK. It's short, it h
Miguel is miserable when his parents split up. He is forced to leave New York with his mother and little sister, and move to a tiny town in New York. Then, to make matter's worse, his mother announces that their aunt Lola will be coming from the Dominican Republic to stay with them indefinitely. Miguel is furious that his aunt does not speak English -he must call her "Tia Lola" and make use of his own broken Spanish. How is he supposed to fit in to a mostly white school when he is forced to deal ...more
Megan Flaherty
Aug 15, 2012 Megan Flaherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very sweet book about the meaning of home and family. When Miguel's aunt "Tia Lola" comes from the Dominican Republic to stay with his mom, sister, and him in their new house in Vermont, Miguel is embarrassed by her poor English skills and extroverted nature. His parents have also just gotten separated and Miguel misses his Dad, who is still living in New York. Of course, as the story goes on, Miguel warms up to his aunt and decides that he really doesn't want her to go back to the Do ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miguel Guzman’s parents have just gotten divorced and he’s not so sure he’ll ever be a part of a family again. To make things worse, his mother has just moved Miguel and his little sister, Juanita, to a Vermont farming village where all of his classmates are white and have “normal” last names. He’s terrified that his Dominican aunt, Tía Lola, will turn the town upside down with her flamboyant clothes, enthusiastic manners and stubborn Spanish. But, with Tía Lola’s help, Miguel learns that life g ...more
Shane Allen
Famous author Julia Alvarez comes up with another life lessoned book. This book is about brother and sister Miguel and Juanita getting to know their Tia Lola better than ever ! She visits the US for the first time from the Dominican Republic but cannot speak english. Tia Lola grows into their family more and more eventually like she knew them since they were babies. The main idea of the book was family bonding can be very special. If you want to learn more about the book, you should check it out ...more
Amer Ibric
This book was about a person that is named Tia Lola. This person is a imagrant from Dominican Republic and came to America. This imigrant told her nephew that she was going just to visit America but soon it turns out that she aually came to stay. This book just talks about a person that lives a new life in America.

I can connect this to all imagrants who come to the US. The reason why is because lots of people come to the US as an imagrant. Also it might be that many people stay in America when t
Essau Alli
Two kids are twins. Their parents are having trouble and are having a divorce. Tia Lola their aunt has come to visit, but they do not know how long she came to visit. Tia Lola helps those kids get in touch with their Spanish heritage and make them interested. They figure out how unique there nationality is.

I can connect this book to myself because I also like my nationality. My nationality is what makes me, me. I like my nationality because there is always something new that I never learned abou
As the son of parents who immigrated from the DR in their childhoods, 10-year-old Miguel struggles to find his place and a sense of identity when his family moves following his parents' divorce. He worries that the visiting Tia Lola will make him seem more different than he already feels, yet he is drawn to her energy and cooking and stories. Alvarez addresses the confusion of second-generation children with humor and sensitivity, refusing to oversimplify the situation as Miguel also deals with ...more
Miguel, his sister Juanita and his mother have moved to Vermont from New York City after their parents' divorce. Their mother invites her favorite Tia Lola from the Dominican Republic to come stay with the family for awhile so the kids won't be in the house alone at dark. Tia Lola speaks only Spanish and has an enthusiastic personality and appearance that embarrasses Miguel. But she attracts new friends throughout the town with her energy and passion for life, even winning over the cranky Charli ...more
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How Tia Lola Came to Stay 1 9 May 18, 2011 10:00PM  
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Julia Álvarez was born in New York City. Her parents moved back to the Dominican Republic when Álvarez was 3 months old and she was raised there until she was 10, when the family moved back to NYC.

She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach l
More about Julia Alvarez...

Other Books in the Series

Tia Lola Stories (4 books)
  • How Tia Lola Learned to Teach
  • How Tia Lola Saved the Summer
  • How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over

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