Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina | SLJ Review

CHAP-Medina-Juana and LucasredstarMedina, Juana. Juana and Lucas. illus. by Juana Medina. 96p. Candlewick. Sept. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763672089.

Gr 2-4 –Juana lives in Bogotá, Colombia, with her dog Lucas. She loves brussels sprouts, drawing, and especially the comic book superhero Astroman. She most definitely does not like learning “the English.” When her teacher says learning English is going to be a “ton of fun,” Juana knows that it will really be “nada de fun.” Her abuelo, or Abue for short, is a brain surgeon and tries to explain to Juana how learning English can be very useful. He also has a bribe—if Juana learns English, he will take her to the Spaceland amusement park in Florida, where only English is spoken, even by her hero Astroman. Medina has written a first-person narrative filled with expressive description. Spanish words are used throughout, and their meaning is made clear through context. As both author and illustrator, Medina is able to integrate the text and illustrations in unique ways, including spreads in which Juana tells us why, for example, she strongly dislikes her school uniform or why Mami is the most important person in her life. Font design is also used creatively, such as when Medina traces the arc of a soccer ball hit hard enough to be sent “across the field.” VERDICT An essential selection that creates multicultural awareness, has distinguished and appealing design elements, and has a text that is the stuff of true literature.–Tim Wadham, formerly at Puyallup Public Library, WA

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2016 issue.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing