|Solimar : the sword of the monarchs|
Author: Ryan, Pam Munoz
On the eve of her Quinceanera, Princess Solimar discovers that it will take more than magic to save her kingdom and prevent the destruction of the Monarch butterfly.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/22)
School Library Journal (02/11/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 Solimar Guadalupe is excited to see the arrival of the monarch butterflies in the kingdom of San Gregorio this year, just a few days before her coronation and quinceañera. After sitting by the creek and admiring the butterflies from a distance, she decides to cross to the other side, which has been strictly forbidden in the past. After becoming engulfed by monarchs spiraling around her, she is marked as the monarchs’ protector and bestowed with the magical ability to tell the near future, which is both a blessing and a curse. One day when the kingdom is left vulnerable, a villainous king seizes the region. With everyone else captured, Solimar is faced with the duty of saving her kingdom and the monarch butterflies. Award-winning author Ryan has skillfully crafted a story using cultural elements from Mexico with a generous sprinkling of magic. In this story of courage, determination, and ingenuity, readers will cheer on Solimar in her arduous journey to save what is near and dear to her heart. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/11/2022 Gr 3–6—Solimar is turning 15, preparing to have her quinceañera and be crowned as princess of San Gregorio. Her older brother, Campeó, is the heir apparent to the kingdom, though he doesn't wish to be. Meanwhile, her parents, the king and queen, are in danger from the neighboring king, who wishes to take their land. On their land is the magical oyamel forest, known for the migrating monarch butterflies. When Solimar crosses the river to see the butterflies, they magically settle upon her. After she returns home, her rebozo (a scarflike shawl) starts to glisten and Solimar learns she has inherited an unusual power. She is able to see into the near future while wearing the rebozo, making her a target and a risk to the butterflies and those she loves. It's up to Solimar to single-handedly save the butterflies and the entire kingdom, including her family. But difficulties abound, including a kidnapping and travels down the treacherous Rio Diablo river with her sidekicks Quetzal, Lazaro, an enchanted doll named Zarita, and a young boy named Berto in tow. Solimar's relationship with her abuela is touching, and the characters are all well developed. The story is rich with vibrant imagery, suspense, and humor. VERDICT Muñoz Ryan has given readers a strong and appealing Latinx heroine, while weaving in beautiful elements of culture, ancestry, family values, and gender equality.—Michele Shaw - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.