|Shine on, Luz Veliz!|
Author: Balcarcel, Rebecca
Eleven-year-old injured soccer player Luz has a hard enough time reframing her identity as a computer programmer, but when her Guatemalan half-sister moves in, she learns what it truly means to start over.
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/22)
School Library Journal (+) (00/07/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2022 Gr 3–6—A great novel about the struggles of friendship and family, and that what makes a person who they are is more than what other people think of them. Luz Véliz has been a star her entire life on the soccer field. She has excelled at the sport, and it earned her parents' praise and the admiration of her classmates. When an injury keeps her from playing soccer, maybe for the rest of her potential career, Luz needs to figure out who she is off the field. Her dad is distant, and a life-altering revelation rocks her Guatemalan family when a big secret is revealed. How much change can one sixth grader take? As Luz feels her world falling apart, she discovers robotics class, which helps her thrive in a way she's never known before. The class introduces Luz to the world of coding and computers. It might even be the solution to her problems, as well as neighbor Mr. Mac, an elderly engineer who has always been there with a helping hand and a mentoring spirit. Luz learns that she can be great on the field but has always had more to offer than only her athletic ability. This novel touches on many timely topics such as immigration and refugees, and how families can look different on the outside than they do on the inside. Readers will be able to connect with Luz's struggle of fitting in and making new friends. VERDICT A must-have for middle school collections; fans of Jessica Kim's Stand Up, Yumi Chung and Kelly Yang's Front Desk will love this coming-of-age novel.—Erica Coonelly - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2022 Sixth-grader Luz Véliz’s identity has always been wrapped up in soccer, but then a knee injury leaves her sidelined and feeling lost. One day, however, Luz catches sight of a seriously cool-looking class (Robotics Two) where robots are scooping up Ping-Pong balls. To join, she must first take an intro to coding class (with fifth-graders) and drop soccer as her elective. She quickly decides to go all in, joining the intro class, getting extra lessons from a tech-savvy neighbor, and deciding to enter a coding project at the science fair, which could get her into Robotics Two early. Then Luz gets some news that shakes up her life even more than the soccer injury: her dad has a 13-year-old daughter in Guatemala who is coming to live with them. Full of family drama and efforts to find oneself, this tale brims with hope as Luz learns to open her heart, connect with her heritage, accept change, and ponder what the future might hold. A lovely and touching coming-of-age story. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.