Sunday, March 3, 2019

March's Book of the Month--Merci Suárez Changes Gears

March’s Book of the Month is the 2019 Newbery winner, MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS, by Meg Medina, a middle-grade look at family, friends, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Attending Seaward Pines Academy on a scholarship means that Merci Suárez gets extra community service and always has to be on her best behavior. Being in sixth grade means she's coping with changes that include homeroom and lockers, embarrassing health class topics, and an escalating feud with popular—and rich--Edna Sanchez. But there are changes happening at home, too. Her beloved grandfather Lolo has been acting really strangely. He’s forgetting stuff, making mistakes, and getting angry for no reason, and no one is telling Merci what’s going on.

I love how Medina has created a vibrant, well-intentioned character in Merci, one who navigates her way through upheavals at home and at school with plenty of strength and honesty. Balancing a rich, multi-generational home life, budding friendships with kids in her classes, and all of Miss McDaniels’s rules at Seaward Pines, Merci learns to appreciate the changes of a memorable sixth grade year.


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