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Tortilla Sun

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  67 reviews
When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words "Becausemagic" while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing anyespecially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in h...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Chronicle Books
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Claire
Jun 16, 2010 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 and up, read aloud, families, classrooms
Recommended to Claire by: Chronicle
Izzy is preparing to settle into a new apartment for the summer. She is going through a box one morning and sees a baseball that must have belonged to her father. Her mom just cannot face her husband's death (even after 12 years) and hides the ball.
Now, really curious, Izzy finds and stashes the ball so her mom won't see it.
Unexpectedly a grant comes through for Mom to study in Costa Rica and Izzy must go visit her Nana in New Mexico. Izzy really does not want to do this but is given no choice...more
Edward Sullivan
An impressive debut--a beautifully written, gentle family story though the plot does seem a bit derivative of other stories of this kind.
Julianne
Great debut novel - enchanting and magical. But beware, it will make you hungry!
Elizabeth Varadan

Review:

What would you do if you were confronted with a mystery about your father, and your mother won’t talk about it? Izzy’s mother has always been restless. After many moves in California, they have just moved again. While unpacking, Izzy comes across her father’s old baseball with the mysterious words, "Because… Love," written on one side. The words between have been rubbed out. Her mother has never told Izzy anything about her father, except that he died before Izzy was born.

Izzy likes to wr...more
Cindy Hudson
Izzy and her mother have moved more times than she wants to remember. She’s just getting settled again when her mom announces she’s received a research grant to study in Costa Rica and Izzy will be spending the summer with her nana in New Mexico.

Izzy doesn’t know her grandmother very well, and she’s not at all happy about being dumped for a couple of months while her mom is gone. But once she arrives at the small adobe village near Albuquerque, magic starts to happen. As Izzy begins to discover...more
Sandra Stiles
Izzy has just gotten settled into yet another new home. While unpacking she comes across a baseball that had belonged to her father. It has the words because...magic on it. When she asks her mom about it her mom takes it away and puts it up. Izzy gets the ball back out and then learns the next morning that her mother has received a grant to finish up her studies in Costa Rica. She is sending Izzy to New Mexico to stay with her nana. She is not thrilled about this. However when she arrives she fe...more
Cathe Olson
This was a sweet book about a twelve-year-old girl Izzy who spends the summer with her grandmother in New Mexico while her mother finishes her studies. While she is there, she becomes immersed in the Mexican culture that her mother had surpressed out of grief after the death of her husband. Izzy searches for answers about her father's death and she may find them if she can find the voice in the wind.

I'm always looking for books with Latino culture and was very happy to have found this one. There...more
Tanja
A beautifully written story I simply loved! While reading, I kept highlighting favorite quotes. As 12year old Izzy discovered the secret about her past amd the magic of her grandmother's village in New Mexico while spending the summer there, the magic of the story captured me, taking me on an emotional ride that brought tears of sorrow and joy to my eyes. A heartwarming story around family and friendship and about finding the courage to deal with the past, to heal and allow the joy back into one...more
Meredith
2.5, actually. I was totally on board until the visit to Socorro and the gobbledygook about seeing the truth. Then there was just too much schmoopiness and annoying fatalism.

I did like the idea of Izzy's story cards ... could have students write their own beginnings and then have others continue them? Could also develop a lesson on famous first lines, the power of a hook ... relate to music as well. Although I am now so decrepit, the kids probably won't recognize any of the songs that would firs...more
Barbara
Twelve-year-old Izzy and her mother have moved from one San Diego neighborhood to another several times during her short life. Consequently, Izzy feels rather rootless and disconnected from the rest of her family. She happens upon a baseball with a couple of words on it, and wonders what the words, probably written by her father, mean. When her mother must spend the summer in Costa Rica for her studies, she sends Izzy to stay with her maternal grandmother in New Mexico. Izzy is resentful and con...more
Tamsyn
This was a wonderful story of a girl without a sense of place or even of family. Her father died before her birth, and her mother, after moving to CA from NM, has never settled in one place long enough for Izzy to put down roots. When a grant for her mother to complete her research comes through at the last moment, Izzy is sent to NM to spend the summer with her grandmother, who she hasn't seen in 6 or 7 years. What she discovers about her family and herself makes for a magical story.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
If you read this book, have a box of tissues ready. I plan on posting a longer review but want to think about this a little more. I will say that I loved having a story featured around Latino characters and celebrating the Latino heritage and culture. I would like to use this as a read aloud with my fifth graders this year. Very powerful message.

See my full review on: http://kidlitfrenzy.com/2010/08/06/bo...
Erin Sterling
A sweet, coming-of-age story about a girl who has to go live with her grandmother in New Mexico while her mother does graduate work in Costa Rica and learns the magic of a small, tight-knit community and uncovers some details about her past and how her father died. The story flowed well and the characters were warm and loving. My only complaint is that the village life seemed a little *too* idyllic, even the tragic bits.
Melissa
This should be the next Newbery winner!

My journey through the story touched something bigger in my soul. I love Young Adult books and read at least one a week. But, I haven't read one like Tortilla Sun that touched me so deeply since Return to Sender by Alvarez or Star Girl by Spinelli.

http://wp.me/pPp61-6p my full review will be up on Monday June 28, 2010.
Olivia
I have only 4 words. I LOOOOVVVEEEE THIS BOOK!!!!!! I didn't quite like it ( I guess ) in the beguinning ,but then I just loved it for the next week that I read it. This is a book anyone could enjoy!!! It is amazingly great!!
Betsy
One Sentence Review: I might not be the biggest fan of some of the more touchy feely emotional moments in the book, but the writing of Ms. Cervantes rang true for me in this interesting new novel.
Victoria Whipple
This is one of those books that the prose alone could wrap you up and carry you away. Combine that with lovable characters and an incredibly beautiful setting--not to mention the quest of the young heroine--and you will be enthralled with this title. Izzy is sent to spend the summer in the New Mexico village where her grandmother lives, and where her mother grew up. Izzy's father died before she was born, but her mother won't talk about him or what happened to him. Over the course of the summer,...more
Jacqueline
Beautifully written and emotionally engaging story of a young girl discovering her family history and heritage. The Hispanic community in an adobe village in New Mexico is vividly portrayed with delightful characters. Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

p. 214 "Sometimes we long for what the world tells us is missing, and miss what is right in front of us."

p. 138 " You must be very patient to tell stories. And you must sit with the idea, allowing it to simmer like soup on the stove. You wo...more
Linnea Hendrickson
This is a beautifully written, charming story with an authentic New Mexican setting.
Freya
For every one of us that longs to believe in magic.
marie
What a beautiful book.
Teresa Scherping
Izzy and her mom live in California, but they've moved around so much that Izzy's never had anywhere to really call "home" before. But now that her mom has a work assignment far away, Izzy is spending the summer with her Latina grandma in her mom's tiny hometown in New Mexico. Izzy hopes to find out more about her dad, who died before she was born. She also wants to know why an old baseball of his has the words "because magic" written on it. Izzy discovers right away that this New Mexico town is...more
Kristina Miranda
The only thing twelve-year old Izzy knows about her father is that he died before she was born. Moving from place to place with her mother in San Diego, Izzy yearns to finally settle down. While unpacking yet another box, Izzy finds an old baseball with some hand-written words on it, and suspects it belonged to her father. Her mother refuses to talk about it, and sends Izzy to spend the summer in a small pueblo in New Mexico with her grandmother. Izzy secretly brings the baseball with her, deter...more
heidi
This is one of those books that recognizes that children have real experiences and hard things in their life, without becoming a Problem Book.

Izzy's dad died before she was born, and her mom loves her very much, but moves her around a lot. This summer, her mom is heading out to do research and Izzy is stuck visiting her grandmother for the summer. The horror!

The story continues along, unfolding prettily. There is magic in the world, and especially in the little village. Izzy wins races, learns t...more
Elizabeth
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes is a delightful book that is full of beautiful imagery. Very good for a debut novel. The first few chapters were a little slow, but once the action picked up, it never slowed down. I recommend it for anyone who likes Mexican food (especially tortillas), magic, or a spellbinding story.
Ingrid
Izzy is sent to spend the summer with her grandmother in New Mexico. She doesn't know her grandmother or extended family very well and she isn't happy about her summer plans. She does hope to get some answers about her father who died before she was born. The thing that I really liked about this book was the setting. It takes place in New Mexico and the author does a good job of making the place come alive with the descriptions of the landscape as well as the delicious meals they ate.
Libby Ames
Izzy Roybal is used to her life of constantly moving from place to place with just her mother. She wonders about her father who died before she was born, but knows her mother refuses to discuss the topic. However, Izzy’s life begins to change when she spends the summer with her Nanna in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the town where her mother was born and her father and mother met, Izzy catches glimpses of their past and the mystery surrounding her father’s death. Talking to long time residents of...more
Carol
Mar 23, 2011 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Twelve year old Izzy lives in San Diego but mother is going to Costa Rica to finish her research. Izzy has to go to New Mexico to live with her grandmother. She has always wanted to know about her father who died before she was born. She doesn’t make friends easily because they are always moving.

Izzy learns about folk medicine, songs, how to make tortillas and a lot about her heritage and how to deal with grief.

This book is filled with the smells, sounds and folklore of Hispanic culture. There...more
Stephanie
Had some minor (weather-related) issues with this book but overall enjoyed it. Lovely writing, and an interesting glimpse into southwestern culture. Would make a good readaloud for a 4th grade studying that region.
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3181027
"Sometimes you can't see the magic. You just know it's there because you can feel it."

I am the author of the newly released middle grade novel TORTILLA SUN.

"Cervantes's prose is lean and lightly spiced with evocative metaphor." School Library Journal

"An imaginative, yet grounded novel." Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful and engaging debut novel." Kirkus

Tortilla Sun -- When twelve-year-old Izzy discov

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More about Jennifer Cervantes...

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