Miosotis Flores Never Forgets
By Kirkus Reviews
Miosotis Flores loves dogs so much she makes a deal with her father: She’ll get A’s in science and Spanish and nothing less than a B in her other classes in exchange for her own pup. An average student, sixth grader Miosotis feels less remarkable than the rest of her family: big sister Amarilis is a straight-A first-year at the University of Pennsylvania, where their Papi is a physics professor, and her older brother, Jacinto, is a track prodigy with a great SAT score. What dog lover Miosotis excels at is helping their neighbor Gina and her wife with all the dogs she fosters for a rescue organization. As she attempts to raise her grades (with help from her siblings and best friends, Zoe and Olivia), she starts to question the deal along with other things: her Abuela’s anti-Black comments, her father’s obsession with grades, and, most of all, her sister’s increasingly alarming and unhealthy relationship with her wealthy, White fiance, Rich. The author explores colorism through Miosotis’ multigenerational Dominican American family—Miosotis is darker-skinned with textured hair, like her Papi; Amarilis has light hair and eyes like their late mother—as Abuela’s judgmental comments about brown skin are carefully unpacked and given context. The story admirably handles themes of recognizing abuse of humans and dogs in an accessible, thoughtful way. A poignant tale of learning how to help those you love.