|Revolution of Evelyn Serrano|
Author: Manzano, Sonia
In 1969 Spanish Harlem, Evelyn tries to break free from her conservative Puerto Rican environment, but her activist grandmother & neighborhood protests complicate things.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 153934
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 58381
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/12)
School Library Journal (00/11/12)
Booklist (+) (10/15/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (10/12)
The Hornbook (00/11/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 Evelyn is at that point in her life where everything embarrasses her: her overweight, subservient mother; her name, Rosa María Evelyn del Carmen Serrano; and her abuela, who’s just come to stay with the family. However, it’s the year after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, and bigger things are happening outside of Evelyn’s house, that will change her Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City. First, a group called the Young Lords starts cleaning up the garbage on the streets. Then, when the city won’t pick it up, they set it on fire. The Young Lords ask the church if they can use the fellowship hall to serve breakfasts like the Black Panthers are doing, but they are refused, so they persist, eventually occupying the church for several days, collecting clothes and distributing them to the poorer members of the community, providing health services and political education courses. As these events unfold, Evelyn learns more about her own family’s past, finding things to be ashamed of as well as things to take pride in. She comes to a new understanding of her colorful grandmother, and she warms to her mother, who finally begins to thaw herself. Evelyn’s journey combines a coming-of-age story with important lessons in Puerto Rican and Nuyorican history. Evelyn is an engaging character, and the straightforward prose and easy-to-grasp emotions render this a useful curricular addition to a unit on the civil rights movement that extends student’s understanding of Latinos during that struggle. An author’s note clarifies Manzano’s personal experiences of the civil rights movement and distinguishes fact from fiction, as well as reminding readers that they might know her as Maria from Sesame Street. KC - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 10/15/2012 *Starred Review* Starting with the title, this wry, moving debut novel does a great job of blending the personal and the political without denigrating either. Growing up in the Puerto Rican East Harlem barrio in 1969, Rosa, 14, changes her name to Evelyn and tries to be more mainstream. Then her activist abuela arrives from Puerto Rico and moves in, and Evelyn feels as if she’s found “an older overdone version of me.” Abuela inspires Evelyn to join the Young Lords, the political activists who are working closely with the Black Panthers and fighting for Puerto Rican rights. But Evelyn’s mama does not approve, especially when the activists occupy the neighborhood church to demand food and shelter for the poor. Evelyn’s first-person narrative is filled with irreverent one-liners, but it never denies the realism of daily struggle: the “heat and stink of our neighborhood.” Rooted in the author’s own experience, the teen’s intense narrative is set against real-life political events (reports from the New York Times are documented in an appendix), while the family drama and revelations continue right up to the end. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2012 Gr 6–10—Fourteen-year-old Evelyn Serrano lives in Spanish Harlem in 1969. Everything about her mother bothers her, from the woman's decorations to her "beggy" tone and slavish ways. When Evelyn's grandmother moves in with them, the three generations clash. Abuela is a patriota-an activist who supported the Puerto Rican nationalist movement in the 1930s, and who left her daughter to be raised by relatives. Evelyn's mother works every day with her husband, Evelyn's stepfather, in their bodega and dreams of owning a house in the Bronx, and Evelyn struggles with her own sense of identity. She and her grandmother become involved in the Young Lords movement, which is met by resistance from Mami. As the plot evolves so do Evelyn and her mother, and in the end all three women come to a place of understanding about one another and what it means to be Puerto Rican in El Barrio. Based on historical facts, the story paints a time line of the Young Lords movement as seen through Evelyn's eyes. She brings to life the sense of cultural awareness and pride that the movement invoked as well as the human-rights inequalities that were exposed by the Young Lords in Spanish Harlem. This novel is reminiscent of Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising (Scholastic, 2000), not only because of the strong Latina characters in a historically important setting, but also for the hopeful, coming-of-age story that unfolds.Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2013 Gr 5–8—Manzano is, of course, best known for her role as Maria on Sesame Street. In this book, she has brought to life an incident from 1969, when a group of young Nationalist Puerto Ricans, known as the Young Lords, occupied the First Spanish Methodist Church, after the clergy turned down their requests to use the building during the week as a place for breakfast and other social services for the poor. The story is related in the voice of Evelyn Serrano, a young teen who realizes that she wants to find ways to create social change. The girl's social consciousness comes alive in tandem with her grandmother's arrival. Her abuela takes over Evelyn's room, forcing her to occupy the couch. Even with this to grapple with, along with the contentious relationship between her grandmother and mother, Evelyn eventually forges a relationship with the older woman, who was a Nationalist in Puerto Rico. She also discovers more about her grandfather, who was on the other side of the political debate, and this makes her all the more anxious to be a part of history. Manzano makes the Puerto Rican barrio come alive, and the atmosphere she creates reminded me a great deal of West Side Story. Of course, she manages to insert a quick reference to Sesame Street itself, which also first aired in 1969. - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.