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By Jennifer Cervantes
5-1/2 x 7-1/4 in; 224 pp; ages 8-12Guided Reading Level: T
April 2010 ISBN 9780811870153 ISBN10 0811870154
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When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words "Becausemagic" while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing anyespecially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana's remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns. Infused with the flavor of the southwest and sprinkled with just a pinch of magic, this heartfelt middle grade debut is as rich and satisfying as Nana's homemade enchiladas.
Jennifer Cervantes lives with her husband and three daughters in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she enjoys sunsets, tortillas, and chiles fresh from the family farm. Tortilla Sun is her first novel for children, and she is currently working on her second.
Cervantesí first novel is rich with local color-both physical landscapes and traditional spiritual beliefs....this should be popular with readers who enjoyed Sharon Creechís Granny Torrelli Makes Soup (2003) or Pam MuÒoz Ryanís Becoming Naomi Leon (2004).
[A] strong debut....Cervantes fills her story with mystical possibilities-- talking with spirits, hearing what the wind whispers, gathering powerful herbs by moonlight--but also with the inescapable realities of illness, death, and mourning. The result is an imaginative yet grounded novel.
Publishers Weekly2010-05-24 00:00:00
Cervantes evokes the beauty of the setting and develops a memorable cast of characters, brought to life through Izzyís heartfelt narration. A beautiful and engaging debut novel.
Kirkus Reviews2010-06-01 00:00:00
"This gentle family story may hold appeal for those who have enjoyed the works of Pam MuÒoz Ryan and Toby Johnston."
School Library Review2010-06-01 00:00:00
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