Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition

Fanbase. Jan. 2020. 344p. Tr $39.99. ISBN 9780998797960.
Gr 6 Up–On the evening of her quince, Lupe Veracruz is alarmed to discover that she has been gifted with superpowers. Fortunately she has her abuela to help navigate them, but at first, it feels like a lot of hard work for nothing—flying is harder than it seems. Lupe is soon called upon to bring justice to her town, and on top of fighting crime, she must also keep up with schoolwork, handle a crush on a boy, and maybe find some time to eat and sleep. When a mysterious and powerful threat crops up at school, Lupe seems to finally meet her match. The coloring in this Spanish-English bilingual flip-book oscillates between a cheery pastel rainbow palette reflecting the vivid design, decor, and art of Mexican culture, and a more limited use of neon hues for the hero and antagonist. The story is simplistic, and it’s unclear why Lupe’s mother is unaware of Lupe’s latent powers, but the witty, authentic writing and Steinkellner’s distinctive art style—including large eyes, expressive faces, and a multitude of body types—make Lupe and company endearing and relatable. Rendered in a small font, some dialogue can be difficult to read, but simultaneous access to a Spanish and English language version makes this a wonderful tool for language learning. Includes two forewords by Latinx TV personalities, an essay, and a study and discussion guide for classroom use.
VERDICT A simple story that provides a humorous and heartfelt look at the power of being a compassionate teen in a world full of hurdles.

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