Hispanic Star en español: Celia Cruz

Roaring Brook. (Hispanic Star). Sept. 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250828125. 128p. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781250840141. SP.
Gr 3-6–The incredible life of singer and Reina de la Salsa Celia Cruz is shared in this Spanish biography title, part of the “Hispanic Star” series. Beginning with Cruz’s youth in the Santos Suárez neighborhood south of La Habana, Cuba, this title follows her as she begins to compete in and win contests with her unique voice, ultimately choosing a career as a singer and not a teacher, as her father wanted. The many complex challenges Cruz had to face—from her father’s disapproval to clashing with Fidel Castro to leaving her family behind in Cuba—are shared along with her grand accomplishments and successes, including a great legacy that continues today. Cruz’s larger-than-life personality and joy for life comes through in the text, as does the sorrow she lived through. The black-and-white illustrations and special block sections further help to bring the subject’s world to life, providing additional information on things such as coffee and locations in Cuba, while the Spanish text welcomes readers as observers to Cruz’s life. A special section following the text provides additional facts about Cruz, along with links to related websites.
VERDICT An excellent addition to Spanish-language biography collections for youth, focusing on a legendary figure of music who impacted not only Latin America, but the world as well.

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