Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer of the Mariposas” as Want to Read:
Summer of the Mariposas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer of the Mariposas

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  790 ratings  ·  183 reviews
When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer’s original tale.

With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to t
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published October 20th 2012 by Tu Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer of the Mariposas, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  790 ratings  ·  183 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Summer of the Mariposas
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Under the Mesquite by Ms Garcia McCall was one of the most underrated books I read last year. I’m not sure whether it was because I’ll always have a soft spot for well-written, beautiful verse novels, or because it was just a gorgeous and very affective story, but it’s wonderful and I would recommend it to you all in a heartbeat.

And while I didn’t have the same love for Summer of the Mariposas, I still really enjoyed it.

The Mexican and Aztec influences absolute thrum through this story, weaving
Guadalupe McCall
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I love my cinco hermanitas!
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top Shelf Review. Originally appeared in the July 25, 2012, edition of The Monitor.
A Magical Mexican-American Odyssey

Guadalupe García McCall is an up-and-coming Latina author whose first book, Under the Mesquite, won this year's Pura Belpré Prize and was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. Born in Piedras Negras and raised in Eagle Pass, García McCall—like many along the border—straddles two overlapping worlds, and that convergence of culture and geography enriches her characte
Check out this review and others like it at BadAssBookReviews

I loved Ms. McCall's first novel Under the Mesquite. I loved it so much that I repeatedly pushed it on the librarians in my town and now it is on the recommended reading list for 8th graders. I do not claim to have influenced the book being listed .... but I'd like to think my passion for the book had *some* influence. Summer of the Mariposas is different from Under the Mesquite but the same. Both novels center on the relationship
Summer of the Mariposas is a delightful Mexican American retelling of the timeless tale The Odyssey. I really enjoyed how the author, Guadalupe Garcia McCall seamlessly blends Mexican folk tales, mythology and magical realism elements together with the more realistic story. It is fiction that addresses real life issues with just enough mythical and magical realism elements to make it a truly enchanting reading experience!
Nicky Drayden
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a ride. I absolutely tore through this. I loved the juxtaposition of the myths and legends. I picked this up randomly when I saw it on the table at this year's Texas Book Festival, and it did not disappoint.

The beginning is a little tough to get through, because there are so many characters dropped on you all at once, but give it twenty pages, and you'll fall in love with them. Some of the girl's decisions required quite a bit of effort to suspend my disbelief, but it all played out, a
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: forest-2019
This is a wonderful book, and it is much more than a simple story. I don't usually like first person narrations, but the author somehow gives this a feel of an oral tale. I loved the mix of new world and old world mythology. And the the rewriting of the La Llorona myth is a subtle and kind feminist rewrite.

Read this book!

I am a HUGE fan of retellings and, lucky for me, there's no shortage of them these days. Fairy tale retellings are a dime a dozen, but I haven't come across a Mexican retelling of the Odyssey before and couldn't wait to dive right in.

Summer of the Mariposas (butterflies in Spanish, and that's just the first of dozens of words sprinkled throughout the book) tells the tale of the five Garza girls, cinco hermanitas: Odilia is the oldest and the narrator of th
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The adventures in Mexico which involved monster fighting and magic were only worth three stars for me. I liked it. It was entertaining. Then came the ending which was redemptive both for the family, and on a cosmic level. That was worth a whole 'nother star.
(This review on B's Book Blog!)

We hiked through the sparse woods, making our way carefully down the beaten path we had created that summer, the summer of the mariposas. 

I gave this book two stars because I neither hated it enough to give it less, nor liked it enough to give it more. So what happened here? Oh, I merely tolerated it. Being given two stars is just as bad as one in terms of mental health if you use my rating system. It's not bad, but it doesn't stir anything within me except for
Medeia Sharif
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Odilia and her sisters find a dead body in the river by their home. After going through the corpse's pockets and finding his address, they decide to travel from Texas to Mexico to deliver the body to his family believing it’s the right thing to do. That’s when they’re in for an adventure.

Taking their father’s car, without their mother’s permission, they embark on the trip. Before and after depositing the body, they meet witches, demons, chupacabras…all sorts of dangers. The odyssey these five si
Sue Heraper
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an absorbing read – I read it cover to cover in one afternoon!

Odilia and her four sisters embark on a clandestine journey to Mexico to return a dead man to his family, and the return trip to Texas turns into a unique magical adventure. The author uses the legends of the ancient Aztecs as inspiration for the supernatural creatures and deities encountered in this modern retelling of “The Odyssey”.

Although written for young adults, I recommend it to adults as well. It is an uplifting celeb
Erin M.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Summer of Mariposas is a Mexican-American Retelling of the Odyssey. It was about this insane quest that entailed returning the dead body of a middle-aged Mexican man to his family. This meant Odilia and her sisters had to cross the border to Mexica all while evading the police for running away and deling with mystical creatures. On top of that was the question on all the girls minds. Why did their dad leave them? And did they even want him back?

The Odyssey is such a good story, so when I he
Summer of the Mariposas (Tu Books/Lee & Low Books), a young adult novel by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, combines Aztec and Mexican folklore with the plot of The Odyssey and elements from the movies Stand By Me and Weekend at Bernie’s – and it works.

Odilia, 18, and her four sisters are struggling to get by after their father has abandoned their mother. They’re enjoying a dip in the Rio Grande near their Eagle Pass home when they come across a dead body – hints of the Stephen King short story The Body
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
On a quest to return a dead man to his family and reunite with their grandmother, the Garza girls must face ancient evils to survive. Beyond all of that are the very real issues of life with a deadbeat dad, a struggling single mother, and the pain that comes with it. The girls are allowed to express joy and anger without being judged, and Garcia McCall weaves Aztec mythology and Mexican legends in beautifully with the framework of the Odyssey while addressing the demonization of women by a socie ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nancy, Deborah, Cheryl, Karen
This lively book is a mix of genres and traditions, and despite some rough edges in the writing, has plenty of heart. Odilia and her four sisters have done pretty much whatever they want in the year following their father's disappearance; their mother works nights as a waitress and seems not to care what they do any longer. One hot Texas afternoon the girls go swimming at their favorite spot, but when a body floats downstream to them, their lives are about to change--forever. An astonishing adve ...more
YAY! It was so refreshing to read about young characters from Latino culture. I'm so tired of reading middle grade books that have white, suburban characters. I'm always thinking about how the students I work with might (or might not) relate to those characters and life situations. Although one can always "escape" through a book, we learn to love to read when we relate to the text and characters. The Lightning Thief for Mexican-American girls with many mythological references to Mexican mytholog ...more
Tomas Vivas
Nov 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
The Summer of the Mariposas is a great example of good multicultural literature. I enjoyed this Odyssey-like tale and how the author creatively redefines some traditional Latino myths and legends, giving them a positive twist, as well as interweaves Spanish words and cultural references. My son wanted to know what I was reading...he said he wasn't interested really, but that I could read to him anyway. I started reading it to him and he become interested quickly and had some great questions alon ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Wow. I really really enjoyed this one. The first thing I did when I finished was tell my daughter she needs to read it. What a powerful story of family and love. Guadalupe Garcia McCall did a masterful job both with her characters and in weaving a compelling story. The inclusion of mystical/mythical beings was superbly done and really added an extra dimension to the story.

Highly recommend - especially if you have daughters!
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Four and a half stars. Wonderful. Magical Realism at it's best.
This is the sort of book I want to buy in bulk and give to everyone I know.
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Great read that kept me turning the pages. I loved her first book and this one is great too.
Tanita Davis
A sweetly unexpected, sibling-filled take on the Odyssey. ...more
Original review posted at Kirkus

I shamefully admit that covers play a huge part in the books I choose to read, more often even than author blurbs or book descriptions. Case in point: Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Up until a few days ago, I had zero interest in the book because the cover, to me, screams “Contemporary YA story of summer!beaches!butterflies!” Even though I do enjoy the occasional Contemporary YA novel, it just didn’t appeal to me at a first glance.

This change
Liza Rodimtseva
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020202020
This sweet young adult novel couldn't be further from the post-apocalyptic allegorical epics that have been the major trend in YA. When five Mexican-American sisters leave their small Texas border town on a mission to return a drowned man to his home in Mexico, they enter a world of magic and adventure. Loosely based on the Odyssey and drawing deeply from Mexican folklore, Mariposas is rich with lovingly drawn living culture, lively characters, and picaresque situations. (Some adventures may eve ...more
A heartfelt tale of family, specifically that of mother and daughter, and the bond between sisters, who, even though they may fight like crazy, always have each other's backs.

Recommended if you're looking for a middle grade story by an #ownvoices author, set in Texas and Mexico, blending legends like La Llorona with magical realism.

Bonus: The author shared this link to the publisher's "Mythological Glossary for Summer of the Mariposas" which shows the parallels between Summer of the Mariposas an
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: Seven Five Sisters
Drinking Buddy: ¡Salud!
MPAA Rating: G for 'Girl Power'
Talky Talk: Road Trip
Bonus Factors: Mexican Folklore, Lotería
Bromance Status: Favorite Cousins

Read the full book report here.
Sarah T.
Well, that was just beautiful.
The Summer of Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Brief Summary: The Garza sisters take off on a call to adventure, much like that hero, Odysseus. There is the reluctance to join the adventure, a sense of responsibility that calls Odilia, the oldest sister into action, and then the formation of a tight sisterhood as they battle all manner of myths and beasts found in the Mexican pantheon of mythology: The Cerberus, Cecilia (Circe) the seducing witch, the chupacabra, and the Lechuzas. With the he
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book I read was called Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Through this story it really teaches the reader about sisterhood and how working together is extremely important for achieving goals. It also teaches the reader about leadership and trust through the characters. Personally, I can really relate to the whole sisterhood concept because I have a sister of my own and taking leadership and trusting others really applies to my everyday life working with people.

This book is a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Into the Forest: Summer of the Mariposas spoiler free 12 11 Feb 26, 2019 10:35AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories
  • Write Like This
  • The Whale Rider
  • How to Be Irish: Uncovering the Curiosities of Irish Behaviour
  • The Maxx, Vol. 2
  • You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
  • The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
  • The Maxx, Vol. 1
  • Herbie
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • The Foreigner
  • The Nerd
  • Sunny Rolls the Dice
  • Women on Top
  • The Things They Carried
  • Max and the Tag-Along Moon
  • Light It Up
  • Grimoire Noir
See similar books…
I was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. My family immigrated into the U.S. when I was six years old. I grew up in Eagle Pass, a small, border town in South Texas. Eagle Pass is the setting of both, my debut novel in verse, UNDER THE MESQUITE, and my 2nd novel, SUMMER OF THE MARIPOSAS, fall of 2012 from TU Books. After high school, I went off to Alpine in West Texas to study to become a tea ...more

Related Articles

Author, journalist, public intellectual, and (in recent years) comic book writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates is an Extremely Busy Person by any metric, and...
100 likes · 30 comments
“You must remain pure of heart on this journey... Be courageous but remember to also be noble and everything will be all right.” 2 likes
“The world could be standing still, and we'd all be just as dizzy.” 1 likes
More quotes…