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Secrets of the Casa Rosada

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Martha and her mother move constantly, never staying anywhere for long. So she knows better than to ask if they’ve been evicted again when her mom says they’re going on a “vacation” to meet the grandmother Martha didn’t know existed.

Laredo, Texas, is like no other city she has seen. Driving past businesses with Spanish names and colorfully painted houses w
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 31st 2018 by Pinata Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook of this story and I really enjoyed listening to it. This book is about a 16 year old girl who's mother drops her off at her grandmothers house who she has never met. To make matters worse her grandma only speaks Spanish and Martha doesnt speak any spanish. Martha does a lot of learning of where she comes from and starts to build a relationship with her grandma. The only con I have about this story is that I felt like it ended kind of abruptly and I felt like it could ...more
The relationship dynamics in this felt very real, and I loved the exploration of the curandera's work and the culture surrounding it, but the prose read more like a first draft, a rough gist of intent instead of carefully considered and thoughtfully polished paragraphs, and the book ended so abruptly that I couldn't help wondering if the printer had accidentally failed to include the last 50 pages. Maybe there's supposed to be a sequel to resolve all the hanging plot threads? ...more
Dan Patrick
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story of a teenage girl trying to understand her family and her past. It was a great description of the importance of family and the importance for a teen to belong. I look forward to reading more about Martha in the future!
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this, although it's not the sort of thing I'd normally have picked up. Very easy reading, but also emotional in places. ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Don't judge a book by its cover! I might have ignored this were I not on a mission of penance, for having accidentally bought 'American Dirt'. I really good engaging read from a promising writer. It's a little 'Carrie', but in a good way. ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, audio-book-2019
Quick and great read! Cannot wait to write my review.
Jun 08, 2019 marked it as dnf
I got to about sixty pages, but just couldn’t get interested in this story.
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
Reviewed for Voya Magazine.
Anna Jackson
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Things I liked about this book:
1. The Mexican culture
2. .....

Ok, I guess that's all I liked about this book. Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but the ending, especially, was a real train wreak. Throughout the entire book, though, the author tended to tell instead of show actions and emotions, so I had difficulty connecting to the characters. None of the characters were very fleshed out, including the narrator. Even things the author told about could have stood more description- the healing was ba
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this but the ending was so abrupt, I almost wish they would have added another chapter. I’m latina and loved being able to relate to most of the writing. There were some errors in Spanish spelling. Very fun read.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Secrets of the Casa Rosada is a riveting, mysterious story of a teen who is dragged kicking and screaming into a Hispanic heritage she knew nothing about.

Martha and her single mother have had a hard life picking up an moving often, so when her mother tells her they are going to visit her grandmother, she assumes they have been evicted again. But a grandmother? Sixteen-year-old Martha knows nothing about her mother’s family. And she's never lived anywhere in the South. She is totally overwhelmed
Mona  AlvaradoFrazier
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sixteen-year-old Martha and her mother move constantly, never staying anywhere for long. So she knows better than to ask if they’ve been evicted again when her mom says they’re going on a “vacation” to meet the grandmother Martha didn’t know existed."

The story is set in Laredo, Texas an area well described by the writer. The grandmother is a curandera who sometimes clashes with Martha but who loves her grandchild. The characters of Martha, the grandmother, and the great aunt read authentic, an
Ann Fields
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Themes: abandonment, family secrets, bullying, and dual cultural alignment.

Secrets of the Casa Rosada is about 16-year-old Martha who is abandoned by her mother. She is left in Texas with a grandmother she didn’t even know she had. In fact, throughout her entire life she thought she and her mother were a duo. Suddenly, she is dumped in a border town and comes face to face with an extended family that includes cousins, aunts, uncles; a new school and student social circles to navigate; a family
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
In a literary world where LatinX voices are becoming more prominent, I really loved how this one dealt a little bit with the sort of mysticism of the culture, curanderismo in this instance. I also loved how Temblador threw in little nuggets of sort of magical realism in the story too, though not too much to overburden young readers. I can really see my young Latinx students gravitating towards this, particularly since Laredo isn't a far away land. Character was relatable in so many ways, and the ...more
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You will become so invested in Secrets of the Casa Rosada that when you finish reading the words on the last page it leaves you desperately wanting more. The author, Alex Temblador, engages readers through moments with so much imagery that you can’t help but to picture yourself as another character in the book. The obstacles and heartaches endured by Martha will weigh on you. Nevertheless, if you read between the lines there is an inspiring story of a brave teenage girl determined to find her pl ...more
Sonia Suzana
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Secrets of the Casa Rosada" by Alex Temblador
Wow! I just finished reading this novel. My favorite book of the year by far. Very well written kept me on my toes wanting to read word for word. No skimming over sections of the book. I laughed, felt angry, and as intrigued as the main character in the book Martha. Abandonment, poverty, survival, and love. Be ready to meet Martha. I miss her already. You will remember her and her story long after you finish the book. Definitely worth every penny. Th
Ruben Degollado
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book set in 90s Laredo. Martha and her grandmother are two characters you won’t soon forget. Alex Temblador does a wonderful job of weaving together aspects of Mexican America culture: cultural identity when you don’t speak the language or have been isolated from family, and the spiritual legacies of our elders. You’ll want to read more from Alex Temblador and so we wait for her next book!
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
"I think it's pretty good" I told a member of my book club last night. "The writing is a little awkward, but whatever." (view spoiler) ...more
April Gain
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed a lot of things about this book but I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped. The story is interesting and covers a topic that’s very rarely represented- curanderismo in Mexican and Mexican American culture and the accompanying traditions. There were some twists in the plot but the passage of time was hazy and the resolution wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. Still, well worth the read.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Meh. I enjoyed it while I read it, but by the end, nothing much had happened. In a way, a lot happened, but also nothing happened. Hard to explain what I mean without spoilers, but this one left me disappointed.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

I couldn't stop reading until I finished it! I encourage more to check it out. I'm Choctaw and we have our shaman medicine men and women as well.
Kristina Jean Lareau
An interesting family mystery with some magical realism.
Sophie dirringer
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juste-ok
I would have enjoyed reading a well-written book about this topic.
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book! I liked how the story came together. The ending was too abrupt.
Sofia The Great
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, latino
I actually liked this book and l learned a lot. I wish the ending was longer. I felt like the mother leaving wasn't really resolved. ...more
Richard Sweitzer
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delight. The author made a culture I am not familiar with feel like home. The characters were more fully developed than the prose, but as a reader it was hardly a concern.
Cassie Kelley
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I picked it up at the library, and it was hard to put it down. The story is gripping, and the writing drew me in. The characters just about jumped off the page, and I loved it!

This is a great story about family, and it has a special emphasis on Mexican families and how they interact. And though Martha searched for the truth, she discovered that secrets can damage just as much as not knowing.

The story was fantastic and I loved the look into tradi
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: tla_tl_2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2019
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Alex Temblador is the Texas-based author of the award-winning novel, Secrets of the Casa Rosada. Her second novel, HALF OUTLAW, is forthcoming from Blackstone Publishing (2022).

Her debut novel has won such awards like the Middle Grade/ Young Adult Discovery Prize Winner of the 2018 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards, Kirkus' Best of YA Books of 2018, the NACCS Tejas Foco Young Adult Award 2019,

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