Synopses & Reviews
Sonias entire village believes she has a gift, but its only in leaving home that she finds out who she truly is. A compelling tale from a rich new voice in young adult fiction.
Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo was born on the night of the worst storm Tres Montes had ever seen. And when the winds mercifully stopped, an unshakable belief in the girls protective powers began. All her life, Sonia has been asked to pray for sick mothers or missing sons, as worried parents and friends press silver milagros in her hands. Sonia knows she has no special powers, but how can she disappoint those who look to her for solace? Still, her conscience is heavy, so when she gets a chance to travel to the city and work in the home of a wealthy woman, she seizes it. At first, Sonia feels freedom in being treated like all the other girls. But when news arrives that her beloved brother has disappeared while looking for work, she learns to her sorrow that she can never truly leave the past or her family behind. With deeply realized characters, a keen sense of place, a hint of magical realism, and a flush of young romance, Meg Medina tells the tale of a strongwilled, warmhearted girl who dares to face lifes harsh truths as she finds her real power.
"Hints of magical realism infuse Medina's story, set in an unnamed Latin American country. Teenage Sonia Ocampos lives with her family including her handsome rakish brother, Rafael in a tiny village where the residents struggle daily against poverty and natural forces. According to the villagers, Sonia is special, endowed from birth with the power to answer prayers. Sonia walks through life wrapped in a shawl that grows ever heavier with the metal milagros (prayer charms) bestowed upon it. The opportunity to serve as apprentice housemaid in a wealthy home in the capital brings new discoveries and obstacles, particularly in the form of the owner's lecherous nephew. When Sonia learns that Rafael has gone missing, presumably seeking a brighter future, she must look beyond her powers of prayer to rescue him. Touches of romantic longing between Sonia and a poetically talented orphan boy create an enticing undercurrent; secondary characters reveal unexpected aspects of their personalities as the suspense builds. Medina persuasively depicts the sights, rhythms, and relationships of both village life and the servants' world at Casa MasÃ³n, but her story is missing the spark that would make it truly engrossing. Ages 14 up (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Meg Medina is the author of Tía Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.