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Estrella's Quinceanera

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  335 ratings  ·  70 reviews
For as long as Estrella Alvarez can remember, her mother has been planning to throw her an elaborate quinceañera for her fifteenth birthday -- complete with a mariachi band, cheesy decorations, and a hideous dress. Just thinking about her quince makes Estrella cringe. But her mother insists that it's tradition.

Estrella has other things on her mind, anyway -- lik
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published March 21st 2006)
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Dec 30, 2007 Malin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: of course
Shelves: classics
Well, I admit I am biased. I wrote the book. And I love it. There aren't many Chicano authors who celebrate contemporary barrio culture like I do. Si Senor!
“ Never forget where you came from it might save you from where you can end up”, unknown quote. I really enjoyed the book Estrella’s Quinceañera by Malin Alegria. There was a lot of drama going on with Estrella the main character caused by her friends and family. The situation only got worse when Estrella’s mom was going overboard with the quince that Estrella never wanted. Alegria nailed the feelings a 14-15yr old girl would feel concerning her quince, parents/family’s behavior and all the str ...more
Estrella’s Quinceañera was recommended to me last year by a local middle school principal who had heard about the book and its positive reviews on NPR. It sounded like a perfect book for our Vamos a Leer book group, so we put it on our reading list for this year. The book was a quick and enjoyable read, and while I was processing my own thoughts about it, I decided to check out what other readers had said about the novel. While many of the reviews and comments were quite positive, I was shocked ...more
Livin' la  Vida Latina
Reviewed by Sandra Lopez, Author of "Esperanza" and "Beyond the Gardens"
Member of Livin' la vida Latina

Review: What do most of us do when the topic of quinceañeras come up? We sigh, we roll our eyes, we cringe so hard that we shrivel up inside like a burnt out match. The feeling's mutual in just about everyone. That was exactly how Estrella Alvarez felt in this story.

Even though I have never had a quince myself (thank god,) this story gave me warm nostalgia as I recalled my own years of growi
Andrea Tuan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arianna Albarillo-rodriguez
In Estrella's Quinceanera by Malin Alegrias,Estrella Alvarez is turning fifteen, and in Latino heritage, it's traditional to have a Quinceanera to celebrate a girl becoming a woman. She is definitely not happy about, because for as long as she could remember her mom has been planning a big celebration for Estrella. Now, she has to decide between her family's dreams and her sophisticated friends.

The theme of this book is basically figuring out who you want to be in life. Throughout the story Est
Mariah Bohannon
Oct 01, 2009 Mariah Bohannon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Mariah by: my cousin
Estrellas’ Quinceanera is a book about girl whose mother is making her have a quinceanera that she doesn’t want. A quinceanera is a traditional party Hispanics give a female in their family when becoming of the age of 15. Quinceanera means sweet 15 in Spanish. It is a party as big as a wedding but only for one person. The reason they celebrate quinceaneras is because in the Latin cultures it is believed that when a female turns 15 she is now a woman and along with becoming a woman, come a lot of ...more
Sandra Lopez
Review: What do most of us do when the topic of quinceañeras come up? We sigh, we roll our eyes, we cringe so hard that we shrivel up inside like a burnt out match. The feeling's mutual in just about everyone. That was exactly how Estrella Alvarez felt in this story.

Even though I have never had a quince myself (thank god,) this story gave me warm nostalgia as I recalled my own years of growing up in a barrio. I remembered the "cholo losers" and the busy-body neighbors; the buttinski mother and t
Viviana Martinez
Estrella Alvarez is a young Mexican- American girl whose mother wants to throw her a quinceanera, a traditional party that celebrates a girl turning into to a young lady. Estrella had just received a scholarship which made her change schools. She is now attending Sacred Heart a private,and more prestigious school. Now that she is attending a new school Estrella she is hanging out with new kinds of people. Estrella does not want a quinceanera sh believes it is too tacky. I mean the poofy dress, ...more
The book that i am reading is called Etrella's Quinceanera. This book is about a girl names Estrella and she is turning 15. Estrella is not at all happy about turning 15 and as long as she can remember her mother had always been planning her daughters Quinceanera. The things her mother is planning she doesnt like at all. She hates her dress and the decorations her mother is planning to have and she just isn't fond of this whole situation. All she wants is to have a regular party at a restarurant ...more
May 20, 2009 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Estrella Alvarez finally acknowledges in the middle of this book that she has become a

vendida (ven-'dee'dah) n., Spanish, informal: 1) English translation is sellout 2. most commonly used as a label for Mexican-Americans or any Latino/ born in the U.S. who thinks and acts white, someone who is embarrassed of their Mexican/Latino culture and Spanish language 3. a coconut: brown on the outside and white on the inside.

Estrella or Star as she is known at the private school where she is a scholarsh
14-year-old Mexican-American Estrella Alvarez is trying to navigate her way in her world and decide whether she is Mexican, American, or both. She lives in the barrio but attends an elite private school in San Jose on scholarship. She feels pulled b/w her old friends in the barrio and her new rich, white friends at Sacred Heart. Meanwhile, her mother and her Tia Lucky are excitedly planning her quinceanera but Estrella is only mortified by their “tacky, Mexican” celebration. Also, she is attract ...more
Have you ever read a story about a girl that has no confudence about where she comes from? Well this story is about Estrella. She's going to turn 15 and her mom, aunt want to have a huge party for Estrella. Estrella doesn't want it beacuse she doesn't want to be make fool of herself with the tacky maiachi band and her ugly silly puff-sleeved orange dress.
Estrella lives in the barrios and she goes to a private school on a scholarship. She even has all white friends. Estrella feels like her friend
I enjoyed this book, most of all, for its themes. The author did a great job portraying the confused heart of a 15-year-old Mexican-American girl as she learns who she is. She struggles to be wade through the expectations of both her rich white friends and her Spanish-speaking community. Also the author takes a realistic look at the prejudice within Estrella's own family/community toward other Mexican-americans.

What made me give this book a 3 instead of a 4: Character flatness--the white friend
Shonna Froebel
This is an interesting view into the world of a young woman, Estrella, who is caught between two cultures. Estrella lives in the barrio on the east side of San Jose, California, and she has received a scholarship to attend a local private school. As she tries to fit in with the white girls at the school, she finds herself at odds with her culture and home life. Things come to a head with her fifteenth birthday, when her mother and aunt start planning her traditional Mexican quinceanera. As she s ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Saya rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
This book, although probably geared to a 12-16 age-group, is still enjoyable and insightful, especially for anyone who's been pulled in different directions by conflicting cultures. The story is about Estrella, about to turn 15, and facing the doom that is a traditional Mexican Quinceanera, which marks a girl's passage to womanhood.

I liked the quirky little dictionary-definition chapter-intros of Spanish/Spanglish phrases: several made me sniggle* like a mad person.

It gives a really authentic ac
I actually hated this book. It is just so SO unimaginably awful that I'm not even sure how I finished it. It has absolutely NO substance, and it is incredibly unrealistic. Also, its just plain dumb- the whole concept.
I originally got this because I wanted to learn more about Quinceñeras/Latin Culture because of my step dad, and also my step brothers cousin who was going to have a Quinceñera but didn't want one; her predicament seemed almost identical to the main character in this book by the lo
Since Estrella received a scholarship to attend Sacred Heart, an expensive private school where she meets her rich friends Sheila and Christie, she’s abandoned her life-long friends Tere and Izzy and is embarrassed by her parents and neighborhood. When her mom insists on a Quinceanera to celebrate Estrella’s entry into womanhood, Estrella is further embarrassed. The big, poofy, orange dress, tacky crown, cheap recuerdos and mariachi band make her long to be more like her friends from Sacred Hear ...more
This is a strong story where 14 year old Estrella realizes that she needs to be herself and embrace her heritage and community. When Estrella gets a scholarship to a rich private school that is 99.9% white (they have to call her Star becaouse they can't pronounce Estrella), she thinks that in order to fit in she must turn her back on her family and friends. She becomes embarassed of her community and her culture. It isn't until she meets the confident and enigmatical Speedy that she begins to re ...more
I really recommend this book to anyone , but especially someone that has parents with really high expectations and goals for their kids. I say this because Estrella's parents treat her like a little girl and they control her every move, they also make a lot of decisions for her. But one thing for sure is that they judge a person by their appearance, like for example they tell Estrella not to hang out, with this guy because he dropped out of school. but when we got to know him more he was also a ...more
Cheyenne Wass
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very good book with a really great message behind it. It really helps you get an understanding for family and friends and how important it is it be yourself. I would recommend this book for 6th grade though 8th grade. I think this is a great book to pass the time.
Lupe Medina
I give this book a 4. This book is not just a girly book; it talks about life, decisions, and cultures. Estrella, a Mexican fourteen year old, is having trouble communicating with her family. She is given the opportunity to celebrate her fifteenth birthday which is very special in Mexico, when a girl turns into a woman. Estrella doesn't want one, this celebration, because she wants to fit in with the American culture. This leads to tension when she decides to do it to make her mother happy, but ...more
Enjoyable read. Estrella's conflicting emotions between old and new friends rings true. Descriptions of family members are colorful. The Spanish definitions at the start of each chapter are clever and fun. Lots of 15 year olds will be able to identify with this one.
I almost didn't read this book after strongly judging it by it's cover but in the end my mum convinced me to. This book fits into the category 'A book with a female main character' because the main character is a 14 nearly 15 year old girl called Estrella (said e-stray-ah). I found this book very interesting because it taught me about a culture not of my own. There are no quotes in this book. I learnt from this book about life as a Mexican living in a small Mexican village in America. A characte ...more
I'd probably give this book 3.5 stars, but the story about a latina girl growing up in a barrio in LA who is navigating life between the ritzy private school and her humble family life? Worth reading.
For me, this book was ok. I've heard that it is based largely on the author's personal experience, and therefore the details of the story are, I'm sure, entirely unique. It's one of several smart-kid-from-the-bad-neighborhood-goes-to-private-school-and-learns-to-love-her-culture stories that my students just love, love, love. In fact, the 8th grade girls at my school can't get enough of this book, which is a great recommendation for it. I found it a little less compelling probably because I've r ...more
Estrella (Es-tray-ah) also known as Star learns to navigate and merge her two worlds -- East side barrio culture, family and friends with her independent school privileged friends. At first, I was concerned that Estrella's story would concentrate too much on her relationship with her rich friends because their scenes were generically exaggerated in the beginning but show a point. I loved being immersed in Estrella's true life and understanding her frustrations and desires. I appreciated the Span ...more
Andrea Ramirez
I think this book is really interested and its fun to read. I also like the book because i have never read a book so alike to life,true an so imberesing like estrella says. this book is about a girl who lives in a "barrio" (spanish word for neighborhood) and that got a schoolarship to a pravete school with rich kids. shes verry imbered of her family and her moms insist her to have a quinceanera wich she dont like and think there lame. she also dont want her parrents to meet her friends , since h ...more
619 REY MYSTERIO *(63)*
Oct 17, 2008 619 REY MYSTERIO *(63)* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: silly
Estrella is a girl who lives in the east side of San Jose, California where only cholos/thugs(her words)live. She lives with her family which consisit of her mom, dad, brothers Rey and Bobby; which sometimes drive her crazy. She goes to school at Sacred Heart where she has two friends Christie and Shelia.She soon meets Speedy, a guy who she thinks her parents would consider a cholo. She starts hanging out with him and starts to like him, but she is unsure of her feelings.The most important thing ...more
May 10, 2015 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: nls-brl
I really enjoyed this book, especially the way English and Spanish Dialogue was incorporated throughout. A lot of times books about characters from different places are written all in English with no trace of the person's(s') native tongue. While not overly used to be considered confusing, the Spanish used in this book gives it a very nice touch that, without it, I don't think it would have had.

From the beginning until the very end, I was held by this book as I followed Estrella on her adventur
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Malín Alegria was raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. She’s a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and received her MA in Education. She is a teacher, permaculture consultant, Aztec dancer, and performer. She’s preformed and wrote with Teatro Nopal & the WILL Collective. Malin’s is a member of SCBWI, TNAFA, and the ultra fabulous Nopalitas. “Estrella’s Quinceñera” was published by Simon & ...more
More about Malin Alegria...
Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico Crossing the Line (Border Town, #1) Quince Clash (Border Town, #2) Falling Too Fast (Border Town, #3) No Second Chances (Border Town, #4)

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