The Lighting Queen by Laura Resau | SLJ Audio Review

redstarRESAU, Laura. The Lighting Queen. 8 CDs. 8:16 hrs. Scholastic Audiobooks. 2015. $34.99. ISBN 9780545921176.RESAU, Laura. The Lighting Queen

Gr 3-7 –Mateo visits his grandfather, Teo, in rural Mexico every year. Usually the visits follow the same old routine, but not this year. Instead, Teo tells the boy a story about friendship, life, and a bit of magic. His grandfather’s life wasn’t easy. He lost his father and sister when he was 11, and his mother fell into a deep depression. Then Esma comes into Teo’s life like blue skies after a storm. She calls herself the Gypsy Queen of Lightning and arrives in town with a caravan of other Romani. The fortune-teller, Mistress of Destiny, predicts that Esma and Teo will be lifelong friends and will save each other. Throughout their story, they help each other achieve their dreams and find purpose in their lives. Thom Rivera and Christian Barillas perfectly perform the lyrical prose. The characters are part of marginalized cultures within Mexico—the Romani and the Mixteco Indians. Resau describes the time and place but also the cultures, exploring the lives of children who are outsiders in their own land. ­VERDICT Powerful and wonderful. The lush sentences and endearing characters make this audiobook an essential purchase. [“The diverse characters, heartbreaking events, and historical and present-day backdrops are excellently executed”: SLJ 9/15 starred review of the Scholastic book.]–­Katie Llera, Bound Brook High School, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2016 issue.

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