Juana and Lucas

1 CD. 50 min. Brilliance. Sept. 2016. $19.99. ISBN 9781522656142. 1 MP3-CD; digital download.
Gr 2–4—Juana is learning English in school and she hates it. She hates it more than gym class, dance class, and math. She does, however, love her home in Bogotá, Colombia; her friends; and her dog Lucas. Juana is a spirited protagonist; she is opinionated, smart, and an avid reader. After much grumbling, Juana tackles her English lessons head-on by studying and conversing with her grandparents and neighbors. Juana is relatable and funny. She eventually discovers how a new language can transform her world. Almarie Guerra does a fantastic job narrating the audiobook. Her voice uses various tones and accents, and her pronunciation of Spanish words is excellent; context clues help readers decipher their meaning. Juana's fun personality and relatable experiences make this a winning story.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries looking to add diverse characters and stories about children learning languages.

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