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

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,188 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
A delightfully entertaining story of family and culture from acclaimed author Julia Alvarez.

Moving to Vermont after his parents split, Miguel has plenty to worry about! Tía Lola, his quirky, carismática, and maybe magical aunt makes his life even more unpredictable when she arrives from the Dominican Republic to help out his Mami. Like her stories for adults, Julia Alvar
Paperback, 147 pages
Published August 13th 2002 by Yearling (first published 2001)
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Ms. Cofield
Feb 04, 2015 Ms. Cofield rated it it was amazing
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
Christina Cabezas
Dec 04, 2015 Christina Cabezas rated it really liked it
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
Jun 18, 2008 Kara rated it did not like it
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.
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.
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
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
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
Chana Billet
Dec 09, 2014 Chana Billet rated it really liked it
As a huge Julia Alvarez fan, I am thrilled to share her literature with my kids. The "Tia Lola" series is a great way to introduce children to Latin-American culture and the immigrant experience.

Alvarez deftly captures the challenge faced by first-generation children who grow up in immigrant households and struggle as they blend two cultures. Another central theme of the book is sibling rivalry, as well as addressing the feelings children experience as their parents go through a divorce. Throug
Minerva King
Jun 25, 2014 Minerva King rated it really liked it
Miguel and his sister Juanita have just moved to Vermont with their mother after their parents' divorce. They are missing their home in New York City and are trying to get used to their new surroundings, when their mother's aunt, Tia Lola, comes to live with them from the Dominican Republic. Tia Lola teaches them Spanish and Dominican customs and in turn, learns some American customs. Miguel and Juanita learn about their background and realize that Tia Lola is like no one they've ever met before ...more
Apr 29, 2012 H rated it liked it
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
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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
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
Andrew Foster
Mar 07, 2012 Andrew Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
“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,
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
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
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
Jun 24, 2014 Margaux rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Nice integration of Spanish into the text.

Miguel and his mother and sister have just moved from NYC to Vermont (his parents are getting a divorce). On top of not having any friends to speak of, his Tia Lola is coming from the D.R. to visit. However one week turns into an entire school year, and when he goes to visit the D.R. and his extended family, his feelings about his tia may have changed. Throughout the school year, Miguel makes friends and starts to play baseball, too.
Beth Medlin
Jul 23, 2014 Beth Medlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebob14-15
We all know someone who can talk to anyone and everyone he or she meets becomes a friend. Tia Lola in Julia Alavarez's story How Tia Lola Came to Visit Stay, is that person.

Miguel has just moved from New York City to Vermont because of his parents' divorce. His mother's aunt is coming for a visit from the Dominican Republic, where both of Miguel's parents are from.

At first Miguel is apprehensive about his colorful aunt with her flashy summer dresses, bright red lipstick, hibiscus flowers in he
Mar 22, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4th-grade-lit
What a wonderful book! I am so excited to use this in my classroom. I love that the characters take pride in the Spanish language and their Dominican heritage. My Spanish speakers will definitely relate to Miguel and Juanita, and act as experts to my English and other language speakers, who will be enthralled to learn little pieces of the Spanish language. This book would be great for guided reading groups, or for read aloud, as the chapters are smaller stories within the book.
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
Fahar Jumma
Dec 31, 2012 Fahar Jumma rated it really liked it
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
Oct 18, 2014 Catherine rated it liked it
This little novel would be a great one for a Spanish speaking ESL student who is trying to fit into American society. Alvarez uses Spanish throughout the story, but she explains what she is saying, so a non-Spanish speaker can still figure out what is going on.

I liked the changes in the characters - especially Miguel. He is a sweet boy who loves his family. This book is for a younger reader - maybe 2nd to 6th grade.

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
Jun 12, 2014 Paige rated it it was amazing
An amazing read-aloud book for my 4/5 class. It taught them so many things, and opened students to new perspectives outside of their daily life. Allowed for great discussions using quotes such as "What does a real American look like?" This question tied thematically to a research project we did on Japanese-American Internment during WWII, and to units of inquiry related to early American history.

If you are a teacher who believes in culturally responsive teaching practices, this book is a gem!
Margaret Bussan
Sep 29, 2016 Margaret Bussan rated it liked it
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.
Jun 17, 2014 Perla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I related to completely. I quickly got attached to all the characters.
In this book, Tia Lola comes to visit from Dominican Republic. Miguel isn't as excited as his younger sister about this since he isn't proud of his culture. While in Vermont, Tia Lola teaches Miguel and his sister about their Dominican culture. Many of the minor characters in the book are affected by Tia Lola's way of expressing her culture. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about Dominican Hi
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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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