Flor and Miranda Steal the Show

192p. Little, Brown. Jun. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316306898.
Gr 3–6—Narrated in the first person and alternating the perspectives of two 11-year-old girls, Flor and Miranda, this story takes place in the course of one day at a traveling carnival where the girls' families work. Flor's father runs the Maldonado Petting Zoo, which barely ekes out a living, while her mother must live apart to sustain them through other work. Miranda is the lead singer in her siblings' band, "Miranda y Los Reyes." After hearing the carnival owner muse about cutting the zoo to raise the band's salary, Flor sets out on a mission to prevent Miranda from a successful first performance on the main stage. The two meet and spend a day filled with stomach-churning carnival foods and fast-moving rides, and their growing friendship is tested when Flor's true motives are revealed. The protagonists' voices are very similar, which might create confusion for intermediate readers, despite visual clues as to who is narrating each chapter, namely, titles with the protagonists' names, the time of day, and analog clock images representing the time.
VERDICT A wide range of middle grade readers are likely to see aspects of themselves in both Flor and Miranda. A solid secondary purchase.

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