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Author: Resau, Laura
On the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico, an eleven-year-old Mixtec boy called Teo lives with his family and the animals that he has healed, but one day a Romany caravan rolls into town with a young girl who calls herself Esma, the Gypsy Queen of Lightning--it is the beginning of a life-long friendship that will change both their lives.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 177795
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 66466
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/15)
School Library Journal (+) (09/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/12/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2015 Gr 3–6—If books were written in black and white, The Lightning Queen would be written in color. Esma, a young Romani girl, meets Teo, a young Mixteco living on the Hill of Dust in the mountains of Mexico, when her traveling caravan makes a stop in Teo's small village. The Romani bring with them the magic of cinema films, and after the loss of Teo's father and sister, Esma gives him a reason to feel alive again. When Esma's grandmother, the Mistress of Destiny, reveals Teo's true fortune—that he and Esma will be lifelong friends and will save each other—Esma and Teo work hard to make sure their fortune comes true. Esma gives Teo the courage to save others and ultimately helps him to save himself. In return, Teo lifts Esma up just when she believes that her own dream is an impossibility. Esma and Teo go their separate ways; she becomes a shining star admired by the world, while he becomes a healer like his grandfather—and it is not until they are both in old age that they meet again. With the help of Teo's grandson Mateo and Esma's granddaughter Ruby, Teo and Esma rekindle their lifelong friendship. Like surviving a lightning strike, this book is rare and incredible. VERDICT The diverse characters, heartbreaking events, and historical and present-day backdrops are excellently executed. Highly recommended.—Selenia Paz, Helen Hall Library, League City, TX - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/01/2015 Mateo is fascinated by the story of his Mixteco grandfather Teo’s lifelong friendship with the gypsy girl known as Esma, the Lightning Queen. Years later, when his healer grandfather feels called to Esma’s side, Mateo is able to help reunite the two friends, who are bound by mystical silver threads. Similar in plot and location (Oaxaca, Mexico) to Resau’s earlier novel What the Moon Saw (2006), this is a gentle tale of magic realism and nostalgia. It is didactic in parts, and the plot thread with Mateo’s mother is neglected and uneven, but the simplicity of the message about friendship and the memorable characters—both animal and human—will move readers. Resau is conscientious about being an outsider exploring a culture different from her own, and she includes abundant back matter about the story’s inspiration, the Mixteco and Romani people, as well as a glossary and pronunciation guide for the Mexican Spanish, Mixteco, and Romani words that are scattered throughout the text. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.