Juana & Lucas is a cute young middle-grade book about a little girl named Juana who lives with her mom and dog, Lucas, in Bogotá, Columbia. She likes to play fútbol (soccer) and she detests learning "the English," but she must, her abuelo (grandpa) says, if she's going to go to Florida and meet her hero, Astroman. I found the drawings adorable, but I had some issues with the book. First, I was irritated by reading "the English" over and over. Little thing, but there it is. I think the audience for this is limited to young bilingual children. The book is peppered with Spanish words (nouns mostly, but some verbs) with no English translation and no glossary in the back. That was my biggest beef. While the Spanish words are mostly elementary (I remembered most of them from high school Spanish), having no translation means you must rely on context alone to decipher a word you don't know yet. I have to imagine that to a non-bilingual second grader, this would be terribly confusing. This won the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award given to a Latino/a author for outstanding work celebrating the Latino cultural experience. While the plot was quite general, I still enjoyed reading it. Little Juana, based on the author as a child, I assumed, was spirited and felt real. My rating: 3 stars.
I won't be rating We Knew Mary Baker Eddy since it was read for personal/spiritual purposes and not for recreational or literary merit. Suffice it to say that I found it enormously uplifting and beneficial to my journey in the Cause of Christian Science.
Last week I began:
Loving this one. I keep it on top of my reading pile so I can look at that gorgeous cover all the time.
This week I'll continue with:
I'm enjoying 50 Artists You Should Know. I'm up to the mid-1500s. I studied Mona Lisa and the Sistine Chapel last week.
And Garrison Keillor's Good Poems is really hitting the spot. I reach for it first in the evenings and keep reading one more, one more, one more...
This week I'll finish:
While I have my issues with The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, I have enjoyed the main character each morning as I get ready. I'll post a review next week.
I'll be reading Hero of the Empire (finally!) this week. Ridiculously excited.
And my new audiobook will be Emma Donoghue's (author of Room) The Wonder about a girl in Ireland who apparently has survived for months without food. Is it a hoax or a miracle?