Diamond Park

Dutton. Mar. 2022. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593354254.
Gr 9 Up–It was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up their dream car, a 1959 Chevy Impala, from Magaña’s godfather. High school seniors Flaco, Magaña, Tiny, and Susi leave Houston and head to Diamond Park. Flaco is cautious about this trip; he has been lost in his grief since the death of his beloved cousin, who died while serving in Afghanistan. After the boys get the car working, they are shocked to find Magaña’s godfather has been murdered; holding a knife and covered in blood is Susi. Flaco sets out to prove Susi’s innocence with Magaña; Tiny disappears so he won’t be deported. They set out to find Anaconda, a dangerous trafficker whom they believe is the murderer. As they head to Mexico, danger and suspense fills the trip as they try to find Anaconda—either they capture him or end up dead. The Spanish and English dialogue stays true to the bilingual characters. This moving and fast-paced story at its core is about freeing a friend, but it’s also about Flaco finding himself. This book showcases how so many teens feel in their desire to develop their sense of self and figure out what they want from life. A mixture of stereotypes, racism, poverty, and so much more are explored throughout the story, creating a rich and complex journey through culture, heritage, and finding the truth.
VERDICT An important title displaying the complexities of Latinx culture and of finding a sense of self set against the backdrop of trying to catch a murderer, this story will keep readers on the edge with danger lurking behind every corner.

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