April 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza | SLJ Review

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redstarGARZA, Cynthia Leonor. Lucía the Luchadora. illus. by Alyssa Bermudez. 32p. POW! Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781576878279.

STAR-PB-Garza-LuciatheLuchadoraPreS-Gr 2 –Lucía can zip through the playground and jump off the monkey bars and land on her feet every single time, but the boys ignore her and tell her that girls can’t be superheroes. Lucía and her Abu—short for abuela—hatch a plan that will involve learning all about luchadores, the stars of a popular Mexican style of wrestling (lucha libre). By the end of the book, Lucía has learned she must fight for what is right and has become a role model for other girls on the playground. Animated illustrations capture the equally vibrant main character, a brown-skinned girl with flowing long hair. The story, told in Lucía’s voice, has plenty of punch and humor and is chock-full of onomatopoeic sounds that just beg to be read aloud. The placement of the text moves along with the action, adding to the tone and breakneck pace of the story. The narrative encourages girls to trust their own strengths yet is never didactic. An author’s note at the end explains luchadores and lucha libre. VERDICT A shining debut outing for author and illustrator, this endearing and humorous title is sure to put a bit of KA-POW into storytimes! A must-have.–Lucia Acosta, Children’s Literature Specialist, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2017 issue.