|Each tiny spark
Author: Cartaya, Pablo
Sixth-grader Emilia Torres struggles with ADHD, her controlling abuela, her mother's work commitments, her father's distance after returning from deployment, evolving friendships, and a conflict over school redistricting.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 503926
|Reading Counts Information:
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 77676
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/15/19)
School Library Journal (06/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2019 Gr 4–7—There's a lot going on in Emilia Torres's life. On the day her mom leaves town for a job interview, her dad gets home from a long deployment and something isn't quite right with him. Abuela is trying to run her life, Emilia has an unusual type of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and, worst of all, a class assignment splits students down the middle and creates a rift between kids who have been friends for years. As difficult as it is for her to focus, can Emilia figure out how to placate her grandmother and help her dad heal while standing up against injustice? Cartaya excels at showing realistic tween drama—no explosions, jumping off cliffs, or magic fairies here. However, there's a lot going on, and it may be as hard for younger readers to keep track of everything as it is for Emilia. Although Emilia's problems are not all neatly resolved by the last page, she grows stronger as she moves forward, which is an inspiring conclusion for readers facing their own complicated life situations. VERDICT Hand to tween fans of realistic fiction, especially those who have enjoyed Cartaya's earlier books.—Elizabeth Friend, Wester Middle School, TX - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 08/01/2019 If you've ever wondered how it is inside the mind of a person with inattentive type ADHD, this book offers a peek. Emilia Rosa struggles with her distractibility, but when something interests her, like tinkering with old cars or the controversies surrounding some district rezoning in her Georgia town, she latches on and digs deep. Her middle-school social studies project on local tourism brings out the activist in her, leading to a chain reaction that causes some minor hullaballoo in her school. Meanwhile, Emilia is trying to reconnect with her father, who's home from active duty; missing her mother, who's working away from home; and struggling to understand her abuela. This story covers themes like honoring your roots, seeking the truth, cultivating empathy, and being a good communicator. Besides a look at a distractible thinker's thought processes, this book also offers insight on the immigrant experience. For Emilia, all it takes is one, tiny spark to get the ball rolling, and plenty of kids will relate to her passion and perseverance. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.