Cartwheeling In Thunderstorms

Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

Mi Sueno De America/ My American Dream

Young Yuliana Gallegos recalls her move from Monterrey, Mexico, to Houston, Texas. Initially excited about moving to Houston, where the huge freeways make her feel like she’s on a roller coaster, her excitement quickly wanes when she starts school. Everything is different at Yuli’s new school, and her discomfort is magnified by her classmates’ stares.

And to make matters worse, she learns that in spite of studying English in Mexico, she can’t understand anything that’s being said. All she wants to do is go back to her school in Monterrey. Yuli poignantly records the fear and anguish experienced by all immigrant children as they strive to adjust to a new language and culture. With the help of a compassionate teacher, a Japanese girl who becomes her friend, and her own determination to excel at her studies, Yuli gradually learns to speak English and feel comfortable in her new environment.

Pepita on Pepper Street/ Pepita En La Calle Pepper

Pepita is almost always happy. But she isn’t today because everything is different on her new street. There’s no familiar grocery store on the corner, and no tortilla shop squeezed right next to it. Rosa’s house isn’t down the street, and worst of all, her best friend Sonya no longer lives right next door. Pepita is definitely not happy about her move to Pepper Street. But her dog Lobo doesn’t mind the new neighborhood, and in fact, he likes the new smells he encounters as Pepita walks him up and down the street. He even wags his tail at the new people they meet: Mrs. Green, who wears a straw hat while weeding her rose garden; Mrs. Becker, who paints the pepper trees, and her dog, Blackie; and Jose, the mailman, who hopes Lobo won’t bite him. Soon, Pepita realizes that her father’s suggestion, “the best way to stop feeling new is to get to know people” is good advice. And when a girl with bright red hair named Katie Ann comes by to visit, Pepita learns that making new friends isn’t so hard after all.