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Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller

(Max's Lucha Libre Adventures)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Margarito acts like any other eleven-year-old aficionado of lucha libre. He worships all the players. But in the summer just before sixth grade, he tumbles over the railing at a match in San Antonio and makes a connection to the world of Mexican wrestling that will ultimately connect him—maybe by blood!—to the greatest hero of all time: the Guardian Angel.

A 2012 Pura Belpr
Paperback, 207 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published July 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful bilingual thriller! It is funny, exciting, and full of action. It is very popular with the students at my school. I hope to find more bilingual books as good as this one!
Jun 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Probably one of the worst books I've ever read. But I read it in Spanish so I guess that made it productive for me. Many questionable grammar and vocabulary errors as well as punctuation errors. ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Good bilingual resource. Fun fast paced story.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book! Great to use in an ESL classroom, but I used it in my regular class and they liked it too!
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
it's really good because there is a kid that likes to restyle his restyle name is Maximilian but his real name is lalo I think ...more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bilingual
I loved that this is a side-by-side bilingual book, but the plot jumped around so much and it didn't make sense to me. ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Max is a huge lucha libre fan. Turns out it's part of his family's history. ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The following review originally appeared in the July 5, 2012, edition of The Monitor.
Top Shelf Review: Award-winning Book Perfect for Valley Kids

Last week the Pura Belpré Medal (named for the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library) was officially awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). This award is given annually to a Latino/a writer and illustrator whose work best reflects the Latino experience in a young adult or children’s literature. One of the book
I really enjoyed reading this book! In all honesty, I thought I wasn’t. I’m not a big fan of Lucha Libre, even American wrestling. I never quite found the appeal to it. So when I picked this up, I thought, “Oh, great.” To my surprise, I ended up enjoying it! Perhaps it was the Mexican cultural elements that it had. I felt I could relate, well not really with Max but with having his family “characters” as current versions of my family as well. It was a really quick read; I thought it would take m ...more
Jul 16, 2012 added it
2012 Pura Belpre Award. Produced in 2011 for grades 1-5 with themes of heroes, Mexican Americans, families, and Spanish language. Maximilian is a typical rising sixth grader and loves the wrestling world and his here is one Guardian Angel. He is finally able to go to a wrestling match and almost falls into the ring and none other than Guardian Angel helps him back over to his uncle. Then they are asked to come back stage after the match and they find out that the Guardian Angel is really his mot ...more
Sep 23, 2012 added it
As a child I grew up watching "Lucha Libre" a Mexican version of wrestling with my male cousins. It was probably the only venue that I was not penalized for being a girl. I knew the wrestlers names and their signature moves. I can totally relate to Margarito and his enthusiasm of watching these masked super heroes. This story reminds me so much of my childhood and the anticipation of the count when the wrestler goes down. And let us not forget the eagerness of wanting the masked hero to be 'unma ...more
John Yingling
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like to think of this book as a learning experience. I found out quite a bit about Lucha Libre, and how and why it is so popular in Mexico and with the Latino community in America. There is a lot to admire about this part of wrestling, and the author does a solid job of treating it with respect and in humanizing the profession, which, the more I think about it, is a way of life for the performers. All the characters in the book are well-drawn, and I especially liked the family-oriented scenes. ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Maximilian is indeed a fantastic thriller! At first, it seemed like the plot would be predictable and bland, and then--BAM! An unexpected twist that took me on a ride that made reading this book such an enjoyable experience.

I read this book twice. The first time, I read it in Spanish because I had never read a Spanish novel before and was surprised at how simple the language was and how much I was able to comprehend. Afterwards, I read it in English and noticed a few things that I had misinterpr
It was so fun to think back to the wrestling matches that I saw at the Freeman Colliseum in San Antonio when I was in high school. I wasn't a wrestling fan, but a friend was and her family took me with them. I watched some matches on tv with her family before going. All through the book there were little things that brought back some memories and made me smile.

I think it is a great book and have passed it on to a few students who love WWF. It also reminded me of Niño Wrestles the World. It woul
KidsFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call # J SPANISH Garza X

Adam's rating: 3 stars

Max, or Maximillian as only his mother calls him, is going on 6th grade and is obsessed with lucha libre - a form of wrestling like WWF in Mexico involving masks. Max's favorite luchador is the Guardian Angel. The mystery in the subtitle of the book is the identity of the Angel, which happens to be Max's close relative. Don't worry there's no need for a spoiler alert as this "mystery" is solved less than halfway through the book. The Angel reveal
Arsalaan Hernandez
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Maximillian is by Xavier Garza. Its a very thrilling and funny book. The book is about a boy and his name is max, and he loves watching lucha libre. His favorite luchador is the one and only Guardian Angel. Nobody knows who the Guardian Angel. But Max might. Max really wants to know who he is. But Max doesn't have enough time with a girlfriend. I thought the book was worthy of five stars cause it included a lot of suspense and mysteries which I love. When Max wanted to know who the Guardian Ange ...more
Henry Bemis
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is the first bilingual book I've read. While I can't read Spanish fluently, it was fun to follow along when the two languages were telling the same story on pages right across from each other.

The book is fast-paced, full of surprises, and definitely fun for any elementary or middle-school student who enjoys wrestling or lucha libre. When I say this book involves action, it just doesn't say "So and so fought." Oh, no. It goes into a literal, blow-by-blow account of what goes on in the ring a
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to on enjoy this book more.l As a bilingual educator, I loved the idea of a bilingual book that introduces kids to the Mexican sub culture of Lucha Libre. The story was fun and the language accessible for a lower grade class. However, I found the narrator and the language a little bland. I think it soundeduveitis slightly better in Spanish, but even still, I get annoyed when authors leave out interesting descriptive language because they think it will go over a child's head. There were ...more
Abby Johnson
Oh man, this book is perfect for fans of lucha libre wrestling with great play-by-play wrestling scenes and a plot that's just as dramatic as your favorite lucha libre matches.

Maximilian is obsessed with lucha libre wrestling, a popular sport in his South Texas border town and across the border in Mexico. He is particularly obsessed with his hero, the greatest luchador of all time, The Guardian Angel. Rumors abound about who this masked hero is; is it possible he could be related to Maximilian?
This isn't one I would have picked up on my own, so I'm glad it got an ALA award so that it came to my attention! This is a very fun and entertaining read. And I was so wrong on my prediction. Frankly I was waiting for Uncle Lalo to slip away and come back as the masked wrestler known as the Guardian Angel. I was totally wrong on it being (view spoiler), though that was a great twist. The characters and settings are a lot of fun, and you don't have ...more
Chris Halkovic
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
My book was Maximillian the Greatest. This book wan an action/mystery book. This book was a great mystery when max trys to find out who the guardian angel, max’s favorite wrestler, really is. This book is all about Mexican wrestling. My favorite part of the book was probably the part that had the most action in it which was when the guardian angel, El Toro granda and the Aztec princess all fight the vampire velesqueze, dog man arroyo, and some other girl. I liked this book. I would give it 4 sta ...more
Harry Brake
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lucha libre - I have never seen it since the 2 years I have been in Mexico, so that is on my list for sure, so I was even more skeptical about a BOOK on luchre libre, yet, wow - I was impressed.

The puzzled plot, that reveals itself in an interesting and intriguing way - is AWESOME - I was thrilled to have met this author at ALAN in las Vegas - in 2012, and hearing his views of writing for younger audiences truly makes him a hero of the ring, whether he is a luchador in the physical sense, he cer
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I ran across this title on the Cinco Puntos Press site. I saw it was an ALA Notable & Pura Belpre winner, and I wanted to read it for consideration of adding to a booklist. Fun story, simple yet interesting black & white illustrations, and an entertaining introduction to a sport perhaps unfamiliar to many children. Bilingual text makes it accessible to Spanish readers. Good pick for boys in grades 5-7 and reluctant readers.
Mrs. Joseph
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this bilingual Lucha Libre thriller about a young boy, Max, who is obsessed with the world of Lucha Libre, and discovers a very close connection with one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The graphics are very cool and the story moved at a good pace, gathering more momentum at the end. I would like to challenge myself and read it again in Spanish. I would recommend this book to bilingual readers and anyone who is interested in Mexican wrestling.
I appreciate that this bilingual novel will appeal to a group of kids that will not find much else to read that is similar. Hard for me not to confront the places where I, personally, do not relate...I don't have much interest in luchadors or any kind of sport fighting. But I will have this book in my back pocket ready to recommend to a student who does. ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was fun to read. Max, the main character, occasionally gets into trouble, and makes a great narrator. There were some laugh-out-loud moments, and action that would interest students who are fans of lucha libre or wrestling. This would be a nice addition to our school library.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Boys will love this adventure book about the world of lucha libre (Mexican) wrestling. Maximilian discovers that his great uncle is secretly his idol and the most famous masked wrestler in the world--the Guardian Angel.
Claudia Naranjo
Max loves “Lucha Libre” and he is very excited because he is going to San Antonio to see his idol, Guardian Angel, wrestle. Max and the Guardian Angel have an encounter that will change their lives. Gr. 3-6
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it very much and especially reading it in Spanish. A whole new world of Lucha libre was opened to me and the family is awesome. It's funny, romantic and a good adventure. I even have my own Lucha libre mask now.
Max learns that his favorite Mexican wrestler is long-lost great uncle Rodolfo. When an ex-girlfriend (and luchadora Dama Enmascarada) crashes uncle Lalo's wedding, Rodolfo offers to fight her in a fundraiser for the church. A jaunty read for young fans of lucha libre. ...more
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Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, author and luche libre aficionado Xavier Garza is a prolific author, artist, and storyteller whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small border town of Rio Grande City. Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona and the state of Washington. Garza lives in San Antonio, Texas with his ...more

Other books in the series

Max's Lucha Libre Adventures (4 books)
  • Maximilian & the Bingo Rematch: A Lucha Libre Sequel
  • Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller
  • Maximilian and the Curse of the Fallen Angel (Max's Lucha Libre Adventures)

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