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The Dream Weaver

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Twelve-year-old Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From startup companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to ...more
Published June 23rd 2020 by Simon & Schuster Children's (first published May 26th 2020)
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Bowling with my family is a privilege that has not been available during the COVID-19 quarantine. That fact makes this book even more precious. Zoey's grandfather owns a historic bowling alley on the Jersey Shore. In this new middle grade novel, she fights to keep that bowling alley open while discovering her bowling skills and making new friends. What is a dream? What should we be willing to sacrifice for our dream? Can we follow the wrong dream and miss the right one? Explore these dilemmas wi ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Zoey and her older brother José have moved from place to place with their father after the death of their mother, but her father is never happy anywhere for long. When they move in with their grandfather, Poppy, on the Jersey Shore, Zoey isn't overly thrilled, but she is glad to be living in her mother's old bedroom and hanging out with Poppy at his bowling alley, Gonzo's. The lanes have become a bit decrepit since the death of her abuela, but when Zoey gets to kn
Andrea Arango
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This wholesome cinnamon roll of a book is exactly what I needed to help me out of my corona reading slump. I read it all in one day and I will 100% read anything else this author writes from here on out. So if you like middle grade books with Latinx rep, sweet friendships, turbulent family dynamics & grief (handled age appropriately), and nostalgic bowling alleys, pre-order now!
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming middle grade contemporary with complicated family relationships, strong female friendships, and bowling! Reina nails both the internal crises of not feeling "Cuban enough" and the difficulties navigating a new place and making new friends. Watching Zoey grow throughout this novel is such a joy. ...more
Liza Wiemer
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. Reina shows the complexity of family in a outstanding novel that punctuates what it means to embrace your dreams and make them happen. The novels shows failures, successes and what it takes to persevere despite challenging obstacles. It's messy, painful, hurtful, beautiful, compassionate, and loving. Friendship is an important theme, and I was deeply touched by how Reina handled hurtful situations, resolving them in a positive way—middle grade students REALLY need this ...more
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
A very sweet middle grade that deals with hard subjects like grief and complicated family dynamics. Despite all that, this book tells such a hopeful and happy story about giving yourself time to figure out your dreams, fighting for them but also allowing them to change with time. One of the strengths of this book is the discussion of now feeling Latinx enough thanks to not speaking the language, not eating the "right" food all the time, and other things like that. This book includes a bowling te ...more
Sierra Dertinger
Twelve-year-old Zoey has been living with her dreamer father and soon-to-be college brother, José. Her Mami passed away at a few years ago due to a heart attack. So having any kind of girl around has been non-existent. Her father is a dreamer because he is constantly tackling new opportunities and chasing jobs that don't really turn in his favor. Her brother is chasing his dream too of becoming an engineer and going to college. Meanwhile, Zoey, she isn't sure what her dream is at the moment. The ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this aloud to my daughter and we laughed a lot! I loved the Latinx rep that was both part of the story but also simply part of the characters. Great summer read!
Mary Sanchez
Zoey's dad has yet another dream of getting a better job in New York City this time. Her older brother Jose's dream of going to college to study engineering is closer, but her Cuban refugee grandfather's dream of continuing to run a successful bowling alley on the Jersey shore is falling apart because he can longer care for the business. Zoey decides to help her grandfather get his dream back by enlisting the help of new friends she's met who are on a bowling team, rather than to go with her dad ...more
Catfairy Books
The Dream Weaver was literally a ray of sunshine. It reminded me of being back in middle school again and the awkwardness of making new friends and having new experiences. This is the kind of book that is enthused with hope and brings you back to that time where life has endless opportunities.

Zoey is spending the summer in the Jersey Shore and she is filled with worry because her brother is going away to college. And to top it all off, her dad is leaving the family for yet another one of his ma
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bowling alleys have such a distinct sound, atmosphere, (and to me, a smell—is that weird?) and I was delighted to have had the chance to step foot into Gonzo’s on the boardwalk. A middle grade debut, THE DREAM WEAVER (releasing May 26th), readers spend an eventful summer at the Jersey Shore with Cuban American Zoey and her family after yet, another move to live with her grandfather who owns the bowling alley. It’s a time when kind, thoughtful, and sensitive Zoey experiences a few firsts—from get ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

This middle grade debut by Reina Luz Alegre is a story that deals with everything from first periods, supportive older brothers, chasing dreams, Cuban heritage, and BOWLING. It releases on May 26th, and is a great book to add to your summer reading list.

Zoey and her brother, Jose, have spent most of their time since their mother died following their dad's dreams from one place to the next. When they finally end up with their gran
Alexandra Alessandri
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ls-books
My son (12yo) devoured THE DREAM WEAVER and absolutely loved it! He loved everything about it, from the characters to the story to the name of the bowling alley. He's also already asking if there's a book 2!

I went in expecting an amazing read, and Alegre's THE DREAM WEAVER absolutely exceeded my expectations. In the book hangover that followed after I reached the end, I found myself incoherently repeating I LOVE THIS BOOK! It's the type of story that sticks with you and begs to be reread.

I'm a
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre is an uplifting story about finding your voice and fighting for your dreams. The novel’s greatest strength is the author’s ability to capture imperfection. There is no such thing as perfect, after all. The characters’ faults and flaws, the complexity of their conflicts, and an ending messy but realistic makes for a heartwarming, endearing portrayal of life. On the other hand, the plot’s pacing is slow at times with many conversations about fashion crowding ou ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Zoey is a thread forged of love, bound in hope, holding together generations of men. Her late mother’s father, her beloved Poppy, her dad and her older brother, Jose, each with their own realized, failed and yet to be grasped dreams, are about to discover the power of a committed young woman, one with a heritage of being a dream weaver, like her Abuela and Mami.

This summer is going to be different; this summer is where weaving others’ dreams help her to find her own dream. It’s
Catfairy Books
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dream Weaver was literally a ray of sunshine. It reminded me of being back in middle school again and the awkwardness of making new friends and having new experiences. This is the kind of book that is enthused with hope and brings you back to that time where life has endless opportunities.

Zoey is spending the summer and the Jersey Shore and she is filled with worry because her brother is going away to college. And to top it all off, her dad is leaving the family for yet another one of his m
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Where's the nearest bowling alley? If you're like me that question will be on your mind as well after finishing this book. Zoey has just moved to Jersey which is nothing new to her since moving constantly is the only consistent thing in her life. That along with her focused brother and her dad who changes jobs like underwear. This move is different though since her brother will be headed to college at the end of summer and their new house is really her grandfather's house. Zoey has to deal with ...more
Zoey lives with her dad and older brother José. They have always moved a lot chasing her dad's dreams. However, ever since her mom died, they have been moving even more. But for the moment they are living with Poppy, her mom's dad, in New Jersey. Poppy owns a bowling alley and it holds lots of memories for Zoey. But as Poppy has gotten older, so has the bowling alley and it's pretty run down; it is losing money and hardly anyone goes there anymore. Zoey is determined to do whatever it takes to s ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE DREAM WEAVER is a perfect feel-good story for middle grade readers. A team of young bowlers tries to win a championship and save a historic bowling alley - this makes a fun story, but what really gives this book heart is Zoey, who has been bounced around her whole life, chasing her father’s dreams - or running from his grief? Her older brother is getting ready to leave for college, so making a home with Poppy and helping him save his bowling alley seems the perfect chance for Zoey to finally ...more
Karen McKenna
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This books was a delight to read. I genuinely enjoyed spending time with the characters. With complicated relationships and painful pasts, their layers were complex, while their present and future are bright as they learn to be honest, fight for their dreams, and support each other. 12 year old Zoey works through many conflicts as she misses her mother, worries about her brother leaving for college, stands up to her father who is always moving them across the country on a whim, and works to moti ...more
Great Books
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Zoey's father has always been the big dreamer of the family, flitting from one half finished dream to the next. His next new venture is to work in a motorcycle shop in New York City, as he is getting set up, Zoey and her older brother are spending their summer with her grandfather at the Jersey Shore. Zoey feels abandoned. Zoey is determined to make a permanent place for herself, by helping her grandfather's crumbling bowling alley stay in business. Zoey is going to need all of her determination ...more
Nelda Brangwin
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A delightful novel about family, friendship and BOWLING! Yes, that’s right, bowling Zoey and her brother have been following their dad from place to place as he gives up on anything he tries. New she and Jose are living with the Cuban-American grandfather on the Jersey shore, as he tries to keep his bowling alley going. Through bowling, Zoey makes some good friends and helps her grandfather as well.
With thanks to NetGalley for a copy in return for an honest review.

A delightful story that brought me back to summers spent at the Jersey Shore! Zoey, a pre-teen Cuban American, goes to live with her Poppy for the summer while her dad heads off to NYC to chase another dream. Zoey discovers bowling (I love that this book helps kids see the joy of bowling!) and as she navigates family and friendships, she discovers what it means to find, and pursue, your dreams.
Reina Alegre
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hello! It’s my book! I wrote it! And I’ve seen other authors shamelessly rate themselves so I’m giving myself a five too lol 😂

But in all seriousness, I did try to put a lot of humor and heart into this sweet MG story, and I hope readers enjoy it!
Sierra Pregosin
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best middle grade books I've read in years! I loved the Latinx rep, and Zoey's sheer ambition and heart made me love her even more! Also, I'm going to need that ropa vieja recipe... ...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Twelve-year-old Zoey is used to going along with her dad's ever-changing dreams, even if it means moving every few months. Now she wants to stay put long enough to save her Cuban grandfather's dream. ...more
Heather Layne
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
These middle schoolers were a lot more self-aware than I remember being at that age! But this might just be how books are written for the "j" section of the library--the author articulating things that kids themselves can't. It was cute, a nice story. ...more
Cait Hutsell
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A nice story with a good message. Perfect for middle grades. I really loved the main character and the friends she develops.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really, really want to go bowling on the Jersey Shore now.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
4th grade and up
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Reina Luz Alegre is the author of middle grade novel THE DREAM WEAVER, a Junior Library Guild Selection, out now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. When she’s not writing, Reina enjoys baking shows, romcoms and singing along with the radio. Reina lives in Florida with her family. For more information, check out


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