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Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle
Contributor(s): Burgos, Hilda Eunice
ISBN: 1620143623     ISBN-13: 9781620143629
Publisher: Tu Books
    OUR PRICE: $17.06  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2018
Annotation: Ana Marâia Reyes tries to win a scholarship to a private school, but too many siblings--and a fourth on the way--in her family's tiny apartment does not make for a good environment to practice piano for the city showcase.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Family life; New York (State); New York; Fiction.
Dominican Americans; Fiction.
Ability; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
- Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Music
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2018022776
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.25" W x 1.00" (0.84 lbs) 284 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring)
Ana Marma Reyes is determined to earn a scholarship spot at the top private school in New York City. But it's not easy to prepare for her piano audition while living in a small Bronx apartment with a large (and still-growing!) family. A trip to her parents' native Dominican Republic puts things in perspective. A warm family story full of heart and humor. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

When Ana María first saw her family's New York City apartment at age three, "it seemed as big as a castle." Now, the 11-year-old shares a tiny bedroom with two of her three sisters, and a new baby is on the way. A gifted student and pianist, the girl worries that a fifth sibling will financially jeopardize her chances of getting a good education and further distract her mother, whom she believes doesn't love her as much as she loves her sisters. Writing in Ana María's often angst-riddled voice, debut author Burgos builds the drama as her determined protagonist applies for a scholarship to a private school, performs in a piano recital at Lincoln Center, and discovers during a trip to her parents' native Dominican Republic that the aunt she idolizes is a snob who abuses her adolescent maid. Despite encroachment on melodramatic turf, the novel offers a poignant portrait of a warm extended family, and its heroine's transition from self-centered to empathetic is credible and gratifying. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 October)

Gr 4–8—Ana María Reyes doesn't live in a castle, she lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her three sisters and both parents in Washington Heights, New York City. Ana María is caring, outspoken, and impulsive, driven by her emotions but also very goal-oriented. She yearns to attend a private academy, the Eleanor School, but her family doesn't have the money for tuition. To earn a scholarship, she must pass a test and impress the judges playing the piano in a showcase recital at Lincoln Center. She is determined to study and practice every day, but finds it hard to do as part of a large and growing family. Her mother is expecting a new baby and her aunt is getting married. The family travels to the Dominican Republic for the wedding, where the protagonist gets know her family better and makes a new friend. While there, Ana María struggles to grasp the socioeconomic disparities she sees within her own family and community. Somehow, she finds time to practice, helps her family and friends through tough situations, and learns to deal with and accept the consequences of her actions. This middle grade novel is an engaging, character-driven story about an 11-year-old Dominican American girl who is learning about herself and to appreciate her family and friends. It is an authentic representation of a successful immigrant, middle class Latinx family who values education, community, and family and stays true to their roots. VERDICT An excellent book for tweens in upper elementary grades and for middle school library collections.—Cynthia Molinar, Medio Creek Elementary SWISD, San Antonio

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.