Molly's Reviews > Juana & Lucas

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-stars, borrowed, grad-school, middle-grade, read-in-2017, recommended, memoir, realistic-fiction

Oh my goodness, this is just adorable! I read it for my Children's Lit class, and honestly it's not something I would have picked up on my own because it's just a little too young for jr high students (which is a shame, because it reminds me of "Barrio Boy" and "Names/Nombres", both of which we teach during the memoir unit, which could use some updating!). Anyway, it's about an adorable, pigtailed Columbian 4th grade girl who has to learn English. And she hates it, because let's be honest, English is a ridiculous language. There's a great line in Barrio Boy about the "awful idiocies" of the English language (that I often reference when teaching grammar) and Medina just nails so many of those. The illustrations are also adorable, and the general enthusiasm and likability of this character just leaps off the page. I also love that Medina includes so much Spanish vocabulary throughout the novel, and doesn't bother to translate any of it. If you're paying attention to context or the illustrations, it's all pretty clear, so it doesn't need to be translated. And in the end, yes, Juana learns English, but she also realizes that she wants to travel, which means she will need to learn more languages too. I like that the message is about learning and having a global perspective, rather than just, "isn't life so much better now that you can talk American?!"

Also, the dog is adorable, but to be honest I'm not 100% sure why he's part of the title. I thought it might be a girl and her dog on grand adventures, but he's not super important to the story. Weird.
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Reading Progress

October 15, 2017 – Started Reading
October 15, 2017 – Shelved
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-stars
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: borrowed
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: grad-school
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: middle-grade
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: recommended
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: memoir
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
October 15, 2017 – Finished Reading

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