FICTION

Each Tiny Spark

Kokila. Aug. 2019. 336p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780451479723.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4-7–There’s a lot going on in Emilia Torres’s life. On the day her mom leaves town for a job interview, her dad gets home from a long deployment and something isn’t quite right with him. Abuela is trying to run her life, Emilia has an unusual type of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and, worst of all, a class assignment splits students down the middle and creates a rift between kids who have been friends for years. As difficult as it is for her to focus, can Emilia figure out how to placate her grandmother and help her dad heal while standing up against injustice? Cartaya excels at showing realistic tween drama—no explosions, jumping off cliffs, or magic fairies here. However, there’s a lot going on, and it may be as hard for younger readers to keep track of everything as it is for Emilia. Although Emilia’s problems are not all neatly resolved by the last page, she grows stronger as she moves forward, which is an inspiring conclusion for readers facing their own complicated life situations.
VERDICT Hand to tween fans of realistic fiction, especially those who have enjoyed Cartaya’s earlier books

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