How Tia Lola Saved the Summer
by Alvarez, Julia

When the Sword family temporarily moves in for the summer, an unenthusiastic Miguel Guzman, his little sister and the three Sword children participate in clever Ta Lola's barbecues, nighttime treasure hunts and magical swordfights. By the author of How Ta Lola Came to Visit/ Stay.

JULIA ALVAREZ is the author of two other beloved stories about Ta Lola, How Ta Lola Came to (Visit) Stay and How Ta Lola Learned to Teach, in addition to several critically acclaimed books for children and adults. She is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College in Vermont.

From the Hardcover edition.

In this third Ta Lola series title, Miguel, 11, is unhappy when his mother invites a New York City family-three girls, their lawyer father, and their slobbery dog-to spend a summer week in his Vermont farmhouse. The girls are just as unhappy to be there; they'd rather be at Disney World. But when Ta Lola, Miguel's aunt from the Dominican Republic, creates a fun summer camp, the kids discover that the Vermont countryside has its very own magic. Never solemn, Ta Lola's messages, in Spanish and English, are as much fun as the spats and reconciliations between family and friends. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Alvarez returns with another Tía Lola story, replete with adventure and humor.

Revisiting this charming Latino family a couple of months after How Tía Lola Learned to Teach (2010), readers find 11-year-old Miguel Guzman's aunt creating a magical summer camp for the Fourth of July week, complete with campfires and a nighttime treasure hunt. Víctor Espada is back in Vermont to visit, bringing his three daughters and his dog to stay at the farm. With romance blooming between Víctor and Miguel's divorced mom, Tía Lola tries to keep the peace between the five children. Meanwhile, outnumbered by the four girls and sidelined from playing baseball by an ankle injury, Miguel is beset by a plethora of worries, while his 9-year-old sister Juanita struggles to feel special among the Espada girls. Each of the children (and a couple of the adults) overcomes a challenge, thanks to Tía Lola's empathy and wisdom. The author subtly continues thematic elements of acceptance and community from the previous novels and blends Spanish words and phrases into the story, which will appeal to Latino and non-Latino readers alike.

Returning readers will rejoice in reconnecting with the effervescent Tía Lola and the rest of the gang, while even readers new to the tales will want to read more about Vermont's favorite Dominican aunt. (Fiction. 8-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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