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The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  776 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
One of America’s most influential Hispanics -- 'Maria' on Sesame Street -- presents a powerful novel set in New York's El Barrio in 1969

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and Papo? her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with th
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press
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Milly Corneil Absolutely, especially if you are on the east coast where so many Puerto Ricans live. I grew up around them and it was a pleasure reading a little…moreAbsolutely, especially if you are on the east coast where so many Puerto Ricans live. I grew up around them and it was a pleasure reading a little about their heritage and struggles. Besides, it is written by one of my favorite people, Sonia Manzano, from Sesame Street...her first book. The book is easy to read and I would certainly considered it historical novel. (less)

Community Reviews

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Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Jan 29, 2016 Alma Ramos-McDermott rated it it was amazing
Before I begin my review of this fiction book which has many true elements contained within it, I want to tell the world “Yo soy Puertorriqueña” (I am Puerto Rican), and I was more proud of my heritage than ever after reading Sonia Manzano’s book.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.c...
This is a review brought to you by two hands.

On the one hand, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano is an incredibly engaging, thoughtful novel featuring a young girl learning about her own history.

Rosa María Evelyn del Carmen Serrano is the daughter of Puerto Ricans living in El Barrio, the Spanish Harlem neighbourhood in the 60s, at that point in time when change is coming – when the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group start protesting about the living conditions in El Barrio.

The novel follo
It is 1969, and fourteen-year-old Evelyn Serrano has decided to forgo her first name, Rosa, because it is such a common name in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, filled with the languages, foods, and cultures of immigrants. Evelyn herself speaks little Spanish although she can understand it when it is spoken to her. When her grandmother temporarily moves in with Evelyn's family, she at first resents her presence and the tension that builds between her own mother and grandmother because of their ...more
Kelly Hager
Aug 30, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
In 1969, Evelyn Serrano was living with her mom and stepfather in New York's Puerto Rican neighborhood (El Barrio). She doesn't really like her neighborhood or her real name (Rosa---Evelyn is one of her middle names and what she's chosen to go by). Then her grandmother moves in and an activist group called the Young Lords begin protesting. Evelyn is fascinated by both---Abuela has these amazing stories and the Young Lords really do just want to make things better in the neighborhood. And over ...more
Melissa Barbier
This book is about a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York in 1969. It is mainly about the activism that occurred there with the group called the Young Lords. This group set fire to the overflowing garbage cans on the streets to raise awareness that there was not regular garbage pickup. Meanwhile, the main character, Evelyn (who is going by Evelyn because she wants to shorten her Hispanic name of Rosa Maria Evelyn del Carmen Serrano) deals with teen strife, learning to respect and appreciate her ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
It’s the summer of 1969 and garbage is piling up on the streets of Spanish Harlem. Evelyn, who has changed her name from Rosa, has a new job at the Five and Dime. It’s a lot better than her job in the family’s bodega. But that summer is not going to be a normal summer at all. First, Evelyn’s grandmother arrives, complete with large amounts of stylish clothes, makeup and books in Spanish. If Evelyn thought she didn’t get along with her mother, that’s doubly true of her mother and her grandmother ...more
Jun 07, 2015 LauraR rated it really liked it
This telling story is an award winning book which depicts the story of Evelyn Serrano, a young girl whose name used to be Rosa, and her family's life in a traditional Spanish neighborhood. Reading this book online was a great experience and due to the fact that there weren't any pictures, it seemed as though there wasn't a difference between the print version and the ebook version. When her neighborhood begins to experience some changes, and her grandmother comes to visit, Evelyn is forced to ...more
Evelyn's grandmother comes to visit and Evelyn gets swept up in her grandmother and mother's feud. Her grandmother was a revolutionary in Puerto Rico and her mother was frequently left behind, so there are a lot of hurt feelings. Then all three of them get swept into a demonstration by the Young Lords, a group that was trying to make things better for Puerto Rican's in the 1960s.

This book is a quick read that is packed with historical details and information. The author clearly did her research
BAYA Librarian
Mar 31, 2013 BAYA Librarian rated it really liked it
Set in East Harlem, the book tells the true events surrounding the 11 day occupation of the First Spanish Methodist Church in December 1969. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican nationalist and civil rights group tried to get the church to let them use space for a day care and breakfast program.

Amid clashes between the Young Lords and the police, Evelyn is growing up and learning about her family's history and finding her own political voice. Caught between her traditional mother and her anti-authori
Lisa Suchy
Mar 15, 2015 Lisa Suchy rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
Evelyn Serrano, a fourteen year old girl lives in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York is going through a lot of changes. Her Abuela comes to live with her and her family and she finds out some interesting information as things are happening before her eyes. The year is 1969 and much is going in Evelyn’s world. The book goes through stages of the Young Lords movement, a Puerto Rican activist group, and discusses how Evelyn sees and feels about it. The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano brings in ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Jenna rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I can't remember where I heard of this book, but I put it on my to-read list because it was written by "Maria" from Sesame Street. That great TV institution started when I was a toddler so I grew up with it at its very newest and youngest, and I loved Maria right along with my love for Captain Kangaroo.

This was a wonderful story of a family of women seen through the eyes of the youngest of the three generations and set during a fascinating time in history. It highlights a lesser-known event in t
I enjoyed hearing Sonia Manzano read this in person at JCLC 2012. I enjoyed reading it at home, not so much because the narrative is choppy. The chapters are too short; thus, the novel lacks rhythm. Though, the short chapters will work for tweens and reluctant readers.

Despite my criticism of the novel's flow, this book is an important and necessary addition to historical fiction novels for teens. I love that it highlights protest movements and nonviolent social change. Manzano's details about Pu
Mary Mayfield
Jul 12, 2013 Mary Mayfield rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: intermediate
Genre: historical fiction
Remembering- Evelyn has a new job. Where was that job? Where did her mother want her to work?
Understanding- Describe what the Young Lords did the first time they went to the church.
Applying- What would you have done if you had to choose to sit with your mother one one side of the church or your grandmother on the other side?
Analyzing - Why is the title written with the letters "evolution" a different color than the rest of the title? Wh
Ann Nekola
Jul 15, 2013 Ann Nekola rated it liked it
Audience: Intermediate, Teen, and Young adult
Genre: Historical Fiction Chapter Book

1. Remembering-What is Evelyn's full name and why did she shorten it to just Evelyn?
2. Understanding-Retell the story from Angel's point of view.
3. Applying-How is the population of South Omaha similar to the population of Spanish Harlem?
4. Analyzing-Compare the two mothering styles of Evelyn's mother and her Grandmother.
5. Evaluating-Justify Abuela's actions of not going to the hospital with Evelyn and her mother
May 24, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-lit
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano gives a great insight within the latino culture. I honestly related to the her family in so many ways. Being second generation in the US, you sometimes forget your roots and kind of become americanized in a way. In the book Evelyn struggles to identify her self socially but when her grandmother comes she soon learns so many new things about her own culture. The fact that this story takes place in a low income part of the city, 'El barrio', makes the story so ...more
Beth E
Nov 23, 2015 Beth E rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to read this book because of the author's work on Sesame Street, but the book stands up in its own right. It's a wonderful Bildungsroman. Evelyn Serrano is a rebellious teenager when she gets caught up in the Civil Rights movement of summer 1969. In the process, she gets to know her grandmother, develops a much better relationship with her mother, and learns to be proud of her Puerto Rican ancestry.
Edward Sullivan
An impressive debut novel offering an engaging family story and wonderful insight into a tumultuous time.
Aug 27, 2013 Josiah rated it it was ok
"When we think of revolutions, we think of big public displays of violence, but revolutions come in all shapes and sizes. I've always been interested in people's internal revolutions because those are the ones that govern their everyday actions and, by progression, a community's life."

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, P. 211

Before attending a promotional author event for this book, I must admit I had never heard of The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. I had heard of author Sonia Manzano, howeve
Nov 04, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano is a captivating book to read because Evelyn the protagonist is a Puerto Rican teenager who lives in this neighborhood called El Barrio which is the Spanish Harlem during the 1960’s.While Evelyn is growing up and getting to know more about her culture and herself , her environment is also changing by the help of the activist group called The Young Lords; Later on Evelyn and her community help to protest with The Young Lords to make their ...more
The alternative to a book report I chose is selecting a book for the main characters and explaining why they might enjoy them.

The main characters in The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano are: Evelyn Serrano, Evelyn’s Abuela, and Evelyn’s Mami (yes, those are the way the characters are referenced in the book, and their actual names are not given).

For Evelyn I would recommend the book When I Was a Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. Santigo’s book is an autobiography of her life, growing up in Puerto
Vamos a Leer
Aug 12, 2015 Vamos a Leer rated it it was amazing
This book accomplishes something that no other young adult book I know about does: it tells the story of the Puerto Rican Civil Rights Movement during the late 1960s in New York City, while contextualizing it within Puerto Rico's own tumultuous history. The majority of the time when we teach about the Civil Rights Movement, it’s limited to a few famous African-Americans. While this certainly doesn’t do justice to the widespread social activism of the African-American community and its ...more
Sonia Rodriguez
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano opens with a frustrated fourteen year old Evelyn getting ready for her summer job at the Five-and-Dime. Her desire to fit in to American society and distance herself from her Puerto Rican heritage is disrupted when her Abuela comes to stay with them. Abuela’s orange hair and bright clothes makes her anything but the traditional grandmother Evelyn expected. Abuela taking over Evelyn’s bedroom with makeup, hair rollers, and flashy clothes is only ...more
Oct 09, 2016 Meg rated it really liked it
So good! Really beautiful character development and interaction between character and setting (though I felt like it dropped off a little as the central historical events started to unfold).
Jun 25, 2014 Leticia rated it really liked it
I stumbled across The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano while browsing through the Young Adult section of my local library looking for a new book to read. As a bilingual fourth grade educator, I love YA and children’s literature and am always looking for the next great novel about Latino/a identidad. When I turned to the About the Author page in the back cover, I found out that the author is Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on Sesame Street. During my childhood, she was the first Latina woman who I ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Sonya rated it did not like it

In The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, written in first person, by Sonia Manzano, the proverb "Don't try to cover the whole sky with the palm of your hand," is repeatedly mentioned through out the novel. The meaning of this proverb is, you cannot cover-up your past experiences no matter how bad they are. Each time this is mentioned in the novel, the person the proverb was directed to was being foolish. Rosa María Evelyn del Carmen Serrano, who refuses to be called Rosa, but wants to be called Evel

Apr 03, 2014 hannah added it
Shelves: ya
Yes and no to this one. Mostly yes, but no for the constant direct translation of Spanish to English and the excessive use of italics to indicate Spanish. If you know Spanish, this convention makes every character seem like an idiot who has to say things twice, and if you don't, you shouldn't have things handed to you that easily anyway. It's called gathering things from context, and if you're at all a reader, you've done it your whole life with pictures, with English words you just don't know ...more
Book 18 Bibliographic Citation:
Manzano, L. (2012). The revolution of Evelyn Serrano. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 12+, Middle Grades 6 –10, Mid Adolescent)

Growing up Puerto Rican in Harlem, Rosa (Evelyn) tries to “Americanize” herself by changing her name and keeping quiet about her heritage. When her Abuela comes to stay, she learns of a new world of protest and becomes entwined in the revolution led by the Young Lords. Rosa’s experiences results in a greater un
Dec 17, 2012 Owen rated it liked it
This is a very juvenile book about a revolution among Puerto Ricans in New York during the late 1960s. The protagonists' name is Evelyn, and she is at that stage in life where she is trying to find herself. She is torn between her Puerto Rican heritage and her adopted American identity. One day, her Abuela (grandmother) comes to stay with her and she introduces Evelyn to the world of revolutionaries. A group named the Young Lords is demanding more things for the people, such as donations and ...more
Sonia Reppe
Oct 05, 2013 Sonia Reppe rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: for grades 5-8
It’s 1969. Evelyn is 14 and frustrated with her old-fashioned mother. When a group of college student activists bring their passion for social change to “El Barrio” (Spanish Harlem) by pushing the piled-up garbage into the middle of the streets and setting it on fire, they succeed in getting more regular sanitation service for Evelyn’s neighborhood; but half of the residents, including Evelyn’s mother, are wary of change. Evelyn’s grandma on the other hand, throws herself into the cause, helping ...more
I wish I had written my comments as soon as I had finished the book, but now it's been a few months...I have to say, I love these kind of books, so I'm not too harsh of a judge when it comes to anything multicultural. :-)

What I especially enjoyed about Revolution of Evelyn Serrano was that the author included historical events from Puerto Rico as well as the Spanish Harlem neighborhood in New York. The book centers around young Evelyn Serrano who doesn't go by her real first name (Rosa) or care
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Sonia Manzano (born June 12, 1950) is an American actress and writer. She is best known for playing Maria on Sesame Street from 1971 until her retirement in 2015.

Manzano was born in New York City and was raised in South Bronx. Her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. Manzano attended the High School of Performing Arts, where she began her acting career. She attended Carnegie Mellon Universi
More about Sonia Manzano...

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