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Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  151 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Her last name may mean "kings," but Ana Maria Reyes REALLY does not live in a castle. Rather, she's stuck in a tiny apartment with two parents (way too lovey-dovey), three sisters (way too dramatic), everyone's friends (way too often), and a piano (which she never gets to practice). And when her parents announce a new baby is coming, that means they'll have even less time ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Tu Books
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Ms. Yingling
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus



Ana Maria (or Anamay) lives in New York City with her three sisters and her parents. Her grandmother is nearby, but much of her family lives in the Dominican Republic, including her Tia Nona, who is a well-to-do doctor. When Tia Nona gets engaged, she and her fiance invite the entire family to the wedding. Anamay's father is a public assistance lawyer, and since the family will be getting larger when the new baby is born, there's not a lot of money, so Tia Nona also
...more
Cheryl Klein
This is one of the first two novels I've edited for Lee & Low, and I've pitched it the following ways:

* "THE PENDERWICKS in Washington Heights"
* "A Latina LITTLE WOMEN" (which is also what Julia Alvarez called it!)
* "The smart, guarded, hilarious narrator of MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS meets the piano practicer of A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT"
* "A wonderful new diverse middle-grade debut, full of smarts and heart"

If that sounds like the sort of thing you're interested in, please add it on
...more
Cande
Ana Maria Reyes has a plan, she's going to get a scholarship for the prestigious private school that her family can't afford with her piano recital. She's going to be big, going places very far away from her crowded, tiny apartment. Of course, nothing comes easy in her life. Her parents announce a new baby is coming and her aunt invites them to the Dominican Republic, which ends up opening Ana Maria's world open.

Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle is ultimately a book about family and
...more
Alex  Baugh
Eleven year old Ana María lives in a two bedroom apartment in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan with her parents, older sister Gracie, 13, and younger sisters Rosie, 6, and Connie, 3. Ana's parents are from the Dominican Republic, and although their children have never been there, they are proud of their heritage. Her father, a graduate of Columbia Law School, is a public assistance lawyer, so the Reyes family needs to watch their money carefully.

Ana is very smart and talented and it is
...more
Barbara
A 3.5 for the first book from this promising debut author. I hope we'll see more from her and more about her determined young protagonist. Ana Maria Reyes loves her family and her three sisters, but sometimes life in their New York City apartment is just too crowded for any privacy or the quietness she needs to practice her piano. Although she is shocked when her parents tell her there is another baby on the way, the eleven-year-old girl is determined to win a scholarship to a prestigious ...more
Dan
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: npr-list-of-319
The characters were likable and believable. The story was good. Would recommend to a middle grader.
Janelle
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Read this with my 9yo daughter. Cute characters, good family dynamics and loved the strong family values. I did feel like it was a little in-your-face preachy at times. While the messages were good, the lessons were clear enough without stating them and undermining the readers abilities. But the strong family, community and individual values are a win for me and glad to share with my daughter.
Ingrid
I loved the character of Ana Maria. She is just so real. She is 13 and she can be quite mature and also very self centered as kids are at that age. Ana Maria's hard working, wonderful family is from the Dominican Republic and Ana Maria learns what is really important in life from them.
Mary Sanchez
Eleven-year-old Ana Maria Reyes is a very talented, determined girl. She has her sights on the prestigious Eleanor School in New York city and believes her piano performance will help her win a scholarship. But practicing is difficult with three sisters in a crowded New York City Washington Heights aprartment and then mom and dad announce they're expecting another baby.

How will she ever practice now? She also has to figure out how to practice when her family goes to the Dominion Republic, paid
...more
Susannah Goldstein
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
3.5. Strong debut but it was really cluttered and Anamay was a tiny bit too much of a goody goody.
Stephanie Bange
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book you can hand to precocious readers looking for a well-told, solid story.

Ana Maria Reyes is a spunky, self-starting eleven-year-old who is practicing for a big-time piano recital, studying to take an exam for a scholarship to a private school, and staying involved with her close-knit, growing family.

Burgos has written a realistic contemporary fiction book about a likeable girl who is the second of four daughters, each seeking their "place" in the family. Ana Maria's
...more
Melissa Tamayo
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m trying to be more well-rounded and read different genres/age groups. This children’s chapter book was such a good start! Ana Maria; “Anamay” is the protagonist of this story and she is such a good example of how children can realize important life lessons without having an adult nag them all the time about life lessons.

Anamay comes from a big family, and although she loves her family, she is often overwhelmed by the size and energy level of her family in their tiny home. Despite the chaos,
...more
Jessica
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has a little bit of everything and would be perfect for the library collection. It would meet the need of our population to a T. The cover does not reflect the content.

Ana Maria's family is from the Dominican Republic.DR She has a big family and it 's getting bigger. They live in a high rise apartment. She has 3 sisters and is about to get another sibling. Abuelita lives near.

Ana Maria (Anamay) is a real character. She is smart, plays the piano, sometimes feels invisible, but loved.
...more
Jennifer
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The cover art is misleading and too cutesy for a book of this depth. To me, this book is more appropriate for older middle school students, as it introduces a plethora of important issues that are worthy of serious consideration and contemplation. My fear is that this book will never make it into those hands because older students will look at the cover and mistakenly assume (like I did) that this book is geared more toward upper elementary and lower middle school. It's not that younger students ...more
Jennifer Hill
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ana Maria (Anamay to her family) has 3 sisters. Her mom stays at home and her dad is a lawyer, but does it more to help people than work for a big firm making lots of money. Anamay is the 2nd oldest and wants to go to a private school with her friend Claudia. She plays the piano and gets invited to an exclusive recital. Her aunt Tia Nona is getting married and wants the whole family to come to the Dominican Republic for her wedding. She will pay for all travel and at first Anamay's dad says no, ...more
Kristina Callender
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I appreciated Maria's Father, an attorney for good,whose tell his daughter she's behaved like an adult since the day she was born.

Traveling for the first time to her parents first home helps Maria understands why they choose to treat everyone in their neighborhood like a substitute family.

Maria's dream of a scholarship to boarding school as her large family expects another sibling is understandable. Her natural desire to help Clarisa and her family is inspiring.
...more
Rani
Even if her last name means "kings," Reyes lives in a crowded apartment with her siblings and loves #science and #piano. And then, a series of events including a #vacation to Dominican Republic, where she experiences the reality of life for some children who need to work, to help in the birthing of her sister! Her family comes together for her too, in many wonderful heartwarming ways!
#Endearing #Family #Hispanic #fiction #mg
CR
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a cute little story. Even though I am a boy I really loved the story and learning more about music and Ana Maria Reyes! I finished this book in a week and the only real issue I had was the music terms and the Spanish words. But I got help so it was ok. I hope to get another story from this author soon. ~ Christian (8 year old reviewer)
LeeAnn
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars. One of the jacket flap reviews calls this a Latino Little Women and I can see that comparison. Lots of spunky female siblings, a MC with dreams of making her mark, and a subtle look at how money and possessions aren't the only way to have wealth. Not when you learn that family, friends, and community are what bring true riches to our lives. A coming of age story I definitely recommend.
Ariel
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg
I enjoyed this story about a bright Dominican girl who feels she has too many sisters and doesn't get enough encouragement. Her high-achieving aunt turns out to be a snob and mean to the little girl who works for her. Ana Maria is able to fix that. I'm not sure I believe that part. But it's a sweet and absorbing tale and Ana Maria has a strong, admirable personality.
Margaret
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
One comment: I don’t think the cover accurately represents the nature of the story. From the cover I expected something much more comic, while the prevailing tone of the book — although certainly there are humorous moments — is much more serious as it reflects Anamay’s areas of self-discovery.
Sarah
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great first novel! There are so many themes and subplots woven throughout this story, nicely resolved in the end. I felt like this family was easy to identify with and loved that Ana Maria wasn't a perfect person but tried to recognize her flaws.
Kristin Crouch
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. If you read and loved Front Desk, this is a great book to follow up with. Lots of complex issues covered with care and the sophistication necessary to cover tough topics in middle grade literature.
Absolutely and highly recommend!
Rena
Jan 06, 2019 added it
5 stars. Enjoyable book about a close knit Dominican family told through the eyes of the second oldest daughter, Ana Maria.
Clover White
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked the picture of a large family. The main character is rather self-centered at first, and I liked her older sister more, but she does seem to grow and think of others more by the end.
Jennifer
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The major theme of this book is nice- the importance of family, but the character reads younger than her purported age.
Megan
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this heartwarming story of love, friendship and family. Thoroughly recommend.
Katie
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice story about a girl and her big family. I’m glad to see Ana Maria grew and learned throughout the book.
Leslie
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ana Maria Reyes is a super smart, super talented girl who lives with her three sisters in Washington Heights in NYC. She hopes to win a scholarship to the prestigious Eleanor School. The book shares the ups and downs she experiences as she prepares for her piano recital that will determine if she will be admitted.
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