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Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle

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By School Library Journal

Ana María Reyes doesn’t live in a castle, she lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her three sisters and both parents in Washington Heights, New York City. Ana María is caring, outspoken, and impulsive, driven by her emotions but also very goal-oriented. She yearns to attend a private academy, the Eleanor School, but her family doesn’t have the money for tuition. To earn a scholarship, she must pass a test and impress the judges playing the piano in a showcase recital at Lincoln Center. This middle grade novel is an engaging, character-driven story about an 11-year-old Dominican American girl who is learning about herself and to appreciate her family and friends. It is an authentic representation of an immigrant, middle class Latinx family who values education, community, and family and stays true to their roots. VERDICT An excellent book for tweens in upper elementary grades and for middle school library collections.