Milagros: Girl from Away
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Milagros: Girl from Away

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Milagros de le Torre hasn’t had an easy life: ever since her father sailed away with pirates she’s been teased at school and there’s the constant struggle for her family to make ends meet. Still, Milagros loves her small island in the Caribbean, and she finds comfort in those who recognize her special gifts. But everything changes when marauders destroy Milagros’s island a...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published October 14th 2008)
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Aug 23, 2009 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sarah Bingham, Cheryl, Sherry, Heather T
Mischievous, intelligent, Milagros grows up on the island of Las Brisas with her mother. Years ago, her father ran off to become a pirate. Just after Carnival, visitors kill all the islanders but Milagros escapes on a dinghy and ends up far north on a new island off the coast of Maine. It is here that Milagros learns her place in the world and makes peace with the loss of her parents and her homeland.

A delightful tale and beautifully written.

"It was as Rosa had said when they first met...more
This is a very good book that really kept my interest. So many times in reading a Juvenile book, I have a hard time connecting with the main character and then my attitude towards the book is ,"So what?" But the author of Milagros really did a great job of helping make that connection and still keeping the book to the number of pages that a young reader would want to read. I cared what happened to Milagros. Anyway, this book has a beautiful Caribbean island, love, excitement, treachery, pirates...more
Milagros is a captivating main character. She is herself every moment and is learning about herself as she struggles through hardship and separation from everything she knows. I am coming around as a fan of magical realism. I have been a reader who likes realism and fantasy to stay in their boxes, but I think that is because that was what I grew up reading - straight fantasy and straight realism for the most part. There are several authors who are winning me over though - Guadalupe Garcia McCall...more
Feb 16, 2009 Inge rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those looking for something beautifully written that isn't soul-crushingly morose.
Don't let the terrible title and truly horrible cover art keep you away from this lovely, magical little book.
Apr 21, 2009 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Wonderful book. Very sad and very beautiful.
The overall book was pretty good; plot twists and unsolved mysteries kept me turning the pages. But my original review was going to be 4 stars. I changed it because, at the end, Milagros' mother turns into a pink, telepathically communicating sting ray and the daughter of the people who took her in spat out rose petals instead of lies. Also, why was the unexplained red mist that floated around and hurt people included? I think this book deserves a 3 stars because at the end, things just got too...more
I wasn't fond of the ending of this novel. There weren't many loose ends, but I felt there was a hole in the story with Old Woman Perez (especially concerning her daughter). Add to that my general confusion over what happened with Milagros' mother and I wasn't a fan of the plot. The story seemed to largely drift at parts, searching aimlessly for a course of direction. Maybe I just don't really understand magical realism but I didn't understand how the story went from made-up Las Brisas (aka Away...more
Milagros: Girl from Away by Meg Medina is a lively story steeped in magical realism. The cover may lead you to believe that it is historical fiction but it is not. In fact, the cover is a deterrence in my opinion. Once you begin reading you cannot stop. The writing is lyrical and beautiful and draws you quickly into the story of young Milagros, a mischievous and quirky girl living on a small island paradise. And yet, she is not fully content with her life on Las Brisas. Her mother is not traditi...more
Brandi Larsen
Let me first disclose that Meg Medina was one of my writing teachers. Even if I didn't know her, I would still think this book is amazing.

Milagros is the title character, a feisty 12-year-old who is the only survivor after a terrible attack on her home, a gorgeous island in the Caribbean that is so tiny it can't be found on a map. Before the attack, she lives with her mother, a mysterious avocado farmer who can cure anything using her salves. After the attack, Milagros sails in a dingy to a cold...more
Milagros lives on the beautiful island of Las Brisas with her mother. The small island is virtually unheard of by the outside world, but the islanders are happy and content. Despite being abandoned by her father (who left to be a pirate when she was younger), Milagros is smart, mischeivous, and has a special power she learns about from her mother - all is well until one day, the island falls under attack. Milagros is the only one to escape, and her escape takes her far, far from home. She has to...more
Meg Medina weaves a wonderful story of island communities, and pirates using magical realism. The language is beautiful and the characters nuanced. I had a wee bit of a problem with the magic used at the end. As my friend Caroline says, the magic in a "real world fantasy" needs to be unambiguous. While Medina gives us the magic from the beginning, and we believe it is there, we don't really know what "it" is. Therefore, the magic at the end of the book seemed a little too convenient. I'd be inte...more
Sharon Lawler
Take the mysterious messages in bottles, the wild-eyed pirates, and rays of many colors and you have the concept behind Milagros, the Girl From Away. The story begins in the tropical island of Las Brisas, but ends in the seaport town of Holly Point, Maine. In between we meet her mystical mother, her pirate wanna-be dad, and the people of Holly Point who discover Milagros after her arduous journey in a flimsy boat. Most of the residents are suspicious of anyone from “Away”, but her friend Old Wom...more
Milagros's life is far from perfect, even though she lives on an idyllic island. Her father left her to be a pirate years before, and her mother is anything but a typical mother. Milagros' whole existence changes when the island is overtaken by robbers, and she puts out to sea in a rowboat to escape.

I enjoyed the magical realism in this story: it's just a thread running through, but it's the thread that holds it all together. I also liked that Milagros had to figure out for herself how to make...more
Judy Desetti
Age Level: 9-12yrs
pgs 288Grades: 4-8
pgs 288

genre: fantasy, magical realism.

summary: Story of a young girl whose father disappeared to become a pirate while her mother is magical and gives her a way to see every day life a bit differently. Then her home and village on a small obscure island in the Carribbean is destroyed. She is displaced to a small island off Maine and learns to make connections in her new home and build another life. Despite not liking or getting along with the daughter of the...more
Lyrical prose with insightful revelations. Constant self-discovery for Milagros, challenged by her father, mother, her thoughts, beliefs, trying to make sense of things around her, struggles with feelings of abandonment. In the end she knows how much her mother lovers her, and accepts her destiny. Enjoyed immensely.
This was a good book, but it was a little too unreal, despite being a fantasy. Otherwise, it is a nice story, which features an important look on life, and an important lesson to learn. Despite these good parts, this book was actually kind of boring. I wouldn't recommend it.
Kris Spisak
Meg Medina's writing always transports me to somewhere exotic yet so familiar. Milagros is a girl with a fire in her heart, a fire that speaks to the girls many of us once were - and still are. I wish I could have read this book at a younger age.
Interesting story that derails when it loses its realism... I like the multicultural aspects and I like the rays, but it felt like it derailed at times and the ending just lost me... interesting, but flawed?
Beautifully written - strong female character. It's nice to see a character develop and have a true sense of self. Loved the "magical realism", and the relationships that she develops and comes to depend on.
Lorraine Stinson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Full of vivid imagery, emotional resonance, and lyrical prose. Not for those who suffer from the "limitations of those who are terminally realistic." (p. 139)
Very nice writing but weird story that leaves the reader off balance.
Told in alternate chapters. Begins in the Caribbean and ends in Maine.
"To find joy and magic in life you must look inside yourself and see beyond what others see. See yourself with your own eyes."
It was a very good book that made me interested from the start and I didn't want to stop reading it when I went to bed.
What a great adventure story! A strange ending, but a good lesson on family and finding out who you are.
Debbie McNeil
It had me till the ending....when it "jumped the shark." I can only suspend my disbelief so much.
Mar 27, 2009 B rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: j-fantasy
grades 5-7 Not an easy read but a worthwhile read. Lovely language.
magical realism
Briana Akani
Briana Akani marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
Jana marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2014
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Meg Medina has written for adults and children for over fifteen years. Her stories and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines. Milagros: Girl from Away (Christy Ottaviano Books: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers) was her first novel for young readers. Meg is also the author of the picture book Tia Isa Wants a Car (Candlewick Press), which earned her the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer...more
More about Meg Medina...
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