The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

244p. Candlewick. Mar. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4602-8; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5968-4. LC number unavailable.
Gr 7–10—Because she was born during a terrible storm where not a single person was harmed, 16-year-old Sonia Ocampo is labeled an angel in her small town of Tres Montes. The local people view her as their beacon of hope, offering her small milagros, miracle charms, so Sonia can pray for them in hard times. However, when a local boy is robbed and murdered, Sonia feels like a failure. She takes a job in a wealthy woman's home far away in the capital to escape her shame. The townspeople think her absence will cause turmoil for Tres Montes and her family, and, sure enough, Sonia's older brother is kidnapped. The teen must find a way to produce the ransom money and make the long and dangerous journey home to save her brother. Ultimately, Sonia tries to make the people of her village (and her family) realize she isn't the angel they believe her to be. Medina's writing is fluent and lovely, weaving Spanish words in with the English text to paint a heartwarming story of a girl's journey to find out who she is. However, at times the Spanish is not easily defined in context, and while the climax is fast-paced and moving, the resolution feels too quickly wrapped up. Overall, this is a respectable first YA novel from Medina and might make a good choice for libraries looking for books by Cuban American authors.—Lauren Newman, Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, Columbus, NJ
This is the story of Sonia, a girl who has been chosen to bear the weight of her community's hopes and fears; of Pancho, the boy who loves her; and of Rafael, the brother who dreams of a different life. When Sonia tries to shed her responsibilities and leave the village, their destinies collide in a gripping tale that will leave readers wanting more.

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