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Summer of the Mariposas

By Guadalupe Garcia McCall


When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer’s original tale.

With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother’s house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity: a wily warlock, a coven of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabras. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test, returning home to the real world, where goddesses and ghosts can no longer help them?

Summer of the Mariposas is not just a magical Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, it is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.

Mythological Glossary for Summer of the Mariposas

Check out the educator's guide on Summer of the Mariposas created by the Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) teacher-oriented book group, Vamos A Leer.

Discussion Questions

Booktalk with Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Read the first three chapters of Summer of the Mariposas online here.

This Book is from Tu Books

"Starred Review"
School Library Journal

"Best Books of the Year List"
School Library Journal

Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award
Westchester Fiction Award Committee

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalist
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List
Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the (ALA)

More awards...
Interest Level
Grades 6 and up
Reading Level
Grades 5 - 6
Bilingual, Breaking Gender Barriers, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Conflict resolution, Coping with Death, Cultural diversity, Dreams & Aspirations, Family Traditions, Forgiving, Friendship, Imagination, Immigration, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Mothers, Overcoming Obstacles, Responsibility, Self Esteem/Identity, Sharing & Giving, Siblings, YA interest, Middle Grade, Fantasy
About the Creators

Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a young girl, keeping close ties with family on both sides of the border. Trained in Theater Arts and English, she now teaches English/Language Arts at a junior high school. Her poems for adults have appeared in more than twenty literary journals. McCall is an up-and-coming talent whose debut YA novel, Under the Mesquite, won the Pura Belpré Award and was named a Morris Award finalist. McCall lives with her husband and their three sons in the San Antonio, Texas, area. You can find her on the Web at guadalupegarciamccall.com.

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