Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

eBook - 2018
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Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between in a resonant new novel from Meg Medina. Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what's going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Candlewick Press, 2018
ISBN: 9781536204094
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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plymc_lindsAy Mar 01, 2019

Have to say I was disappointed. It was slow and lacked something. I can't put my finger on it, but it needed something.

IndyPL_SteveB Feb 18, 2019

11-year-old Merci is part of a close Hispanic family living in Florida. She and her parents were born in the U.S. and her grandparents (she calls them Abuela and Lolo) were born in Cuba. Merci is just starting 6th grade at prestigious private academy, but she feels intimidated because her father is a house painter and her mother runs a bakery. She is even more intimidated by her leader-of-the pack insulting classmate, Edna.

Home is a different matter. Her extended family lives in a group of four small houses they bought together. Everyone helps each other out, although Merci is upset that she is forced to babysit her twin-terror nephews. Her happy home life starts to have cracks in it when she begins noticing that Lolo is forgetting things, losing his balance, and getting lost on the way home. As adults, we know right away what this is, and Merci’s family knows, too; but they have avoided telling her. It’s a well-written book, with the kind of deeper issues that fit with a Newbery Award. It would be a fine read-aloud for a class setting, as long as the reader is comfortable with some Spanish phrases, most of which can be easily understood in context. There is some humor and a lot of classroom action, as the 6th grade class members sort out the new “pecking order” that comes with pre-puberty and with switching classrooms and teachers every period. It does have a bit of a slow start, but stick with it.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jan 13, 2019

This was a bit slow at the beginning, but I think it’s worth a bit of patience. I am biased, because this is set in my hometown, and so it was really fun for me personally to read mentions of them going on a field trip to the art gallery near my parents’ neighborhood or to the movies at the movie theater that I myself went to in middle school, etc. But beyond that specific personal appeal, this is just a solid story about growing up and family and friends and things changing, and I really liked it, and am glad I stuck with it after a slightly slow start.

ArapahoeMary Oct 16, 2018

Merci Suarez is having trouble fitting in at her private school. Edna Santos keeps picking on her and as a reluctant member of the Sunshine Buddies she has to help a new boy settle in to the school. She's also feeling out of control at home, where her grandfather has started acting strangely. In this engaging and real story of family and friends, Merci navigates change and challenges with determination and heart.

d
darladoodles
Aug 27, 2018

Merci is growing up and leaving elementary school behind. Her first semester in 6th grade brings joys and triumphs, but also mistakes at school and troubles at home. When we grow up, we begin to learn more of the bad things about the world around us. We also have to learn to get along with others in our classrooms and in our homes despite circumstances that make it difficult. In this book we watch Merci stumble and pick herself up time after time. She is learning to deal with the changes and difficulties we find in our daily lives and middle grade readers will learn much from reading her story.
My older brain struggled a bit with the Spanish phrases throughout (I studied German back in the day), but I would guess that most elementary kids are exposed to more Spanish than I was at their age and will sail right through.

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