|Sofia Acosta makes a scene|
Author: Otheguy, Emma
Sofia Acosta, a fifth grader trying to fit into her ballet-obsessed Cuban American family and her affluent suburban New York community, learns to speak up for herself and others when she mistakenly reveals a visiting dancer's plan to defect to the United States.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 513921
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/21)
School Library Journal (02/18/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/21)
The Hornbook (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 Sofía Acosta’s parents danced with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba before immigrating to the U.S. years ago. Her sister and brother are both talented dancers. All five Acostas participate annually in the Nutcracker performance in their NYC suburb. But this year, fifth-grader Sofía wonders if her parents might allow her to quit dancing and take up costuming instead. Meanwhile, her mother’s best friend arrives from Cuba with her son, a professional dancer who will be performing in American Ballet Theatre’s tribute to revered Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso. Will he defect, despite his mother’s wishes? Sofía learns to speak up for herself within her family and for immigrants within her community, which tolerates but doesn’t welcome them. Otheguy, whose books include Martí's Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad (2019), creates a convincing portrayal of Sofía as a girl who tries to live up to her parents’ expectations but gradually becomes more self-reliant and envisions her own path forward. A lively middle-grade novel underscoring the value of honest communication with family and friends. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/18/2022 Gr 3–6—Fifth grader Sofîa has grown up in a "ballet" family that lives and breathes dance. Her parents danced under Cuban prima ballerina Alicia Alonso before immigrating to New York and becoming dance teachers; her older sister Regina is a dance prodigy planning to join the American Ballet Theatre; and even her younger brother Manuel is a natural-born dancer. Sofîa worries she won't have a place in her family without dance, and it seems she doesn't possess the family talent. While preparing for the yearly Nutcracker dance, Sofîa discovers she loves costume design more than dance itself, and she is forced to grapple with what that means within her family. Meanwhile, family friend, Yolanda, and her son Alvaro come from Cuba to dance with The Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and they stay with Sofîa's family. While there, Alvaro confides that he may secretly defect to America, and Sofîa must decide where her loyalties lie. She starts noticing discrimination and racism within her neighborhood, and even in her friend circle. Sofîa's tale is one of family, finding one's voice, and standing up for personal beliefs, all the while staying true to a young person's myriad of emotions with friendships and oneself. As Sofîa grows emotionally, she will discover that family ties are unbreakable, though they may certainly be stretched. Readers' love of Sofîa will grow through her plight. VERDICT An important and honest look at immigration, racial inequities, and understanding how one person can make a difference. Recommended for middle grade fiction collections.—Michele Shaw - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.