Korri's Reviews > The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
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's review
Sep 30, 2012

bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult, first-reads, latina-o-chicana-o

I received a copy of this book though first reads.

When Evelyn Serrano begins her tale, she rolls her eyes at her passive, long-suffering mother and doesn't care to hear about Puerto Rico. After all, it’s 1969—who cares about that old stuff? She's ashamed of her kinky hair and of her mother’s attempts to beautify the family's run down apartment. Evelyn just wants to be an average American teenager and would rather work in a five and dime than in her parents' bodega where old(er) people gather to talk about Puerto Rico. But when her activist abuela comes to stay, Evelyn's world is turned upside down and she discovers new things about her family and cultural heritage.

There were some wonderful laugh out loud moments (the title of chapter three, for example: The Lady with No Eyebrows Appears) and multi-layered conflicts between generations of female family members. Much of the action felt external to Evelyn but the events in which she was swept up allowed for incremental changes in her family dynamics. The book simultaneously played down yet was very clear about the social justice component of the story, which could lead to good discussions with younger readers.

Overall I was not especially moved by the novel but I know it is important as a tale of a young Nuyorican coming to terms with her identity and community in a turbulent era.

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