Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hidden Gems: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano.

Happy martes everyone! 

We are starting our week off, as always reviewing a book that for some may be a hidden treasure in our bookstore. While in the past we have been reviewing children’s picture books, to be more inclusive of the breadth that encompasses children’s books, we will start including children’s chapter books and young adult novels. This week’s book is a new favorite of mine, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano.

Set in 1969 the story follows Evelyn Serrano, a 14 year old girl, as she struggles with her identity and relationships with the two strong females in her life, her Abuela and her mother. At first Evelyn hates being seen as an outsider and tries to fit into the mainstream, going so far as to change her own name. But as events unfold in El Barrio, she begins to be an active participant in the movement bringing her closer to her Abuela and her roots while straining her relationship with her mother. In this novel, Sonia Manzano is not only able to capture the intricacies of Evelyn’s family drama but is able to give a window through Evelyn’s eyes of what life was like in El Barrio during the events that led to the rise of the Young Lords. What I love about the novel is how well written it is, making it an easy read for even the most reluctant of readers, its portrayal of a the everyday struggles of growing up and the fact that it teaches a new generation not only about the life in El Barrio back then but also the importance of social activism. It is an inspiration for any young person to know that age is no impediment to make a change.

Think this is a great book? Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in our children’s section. 
Also mark your calendars: Saturday April 26th from 11am to 4pm is our 4th Annual East Harlem Children’s Book Fair, where we will have amazing authors and performers, including Sonia Manzano!
- Galia Sandy, Schools Program Coordinator

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