Miosotis Flores Never Forgets

By School Library Connection

Miosotis Flores wants a dog. In pursuit of this goal, she makes a deal with her dad to improve her grades in science and Spanish and get at least a B in her other classes. In exchange, she’ll be allowed to get a pup. However, Miosotis is an average student and this "deal" is going to require more studying, help from her friends, and more true focus and dedication to her studies than she is used to. Miosotis is in sixth grade and she is overwhelmed by the successes of her straight-A, brainiac sister Amarilis. Amarilis is in her 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 near-perfect SAT score. If anything, Miosotis feels like she doesn’t quite belong. If they gave out A’s for being kind and helpful, Miosotis wouldn’t have to worry about where she stands. She’s always helping her neighbor Gina and her wife with the dogs they foster for a rescue organization. Miosotis works diligently to stick to her end of the bargain, but she starts to question the deal. Along the way, she also starts to question her abuela’s anti-Black comments and her father’s obsession with grades. But mostly Miosotis is worried about her sister, who she notices is starting to act differently. Miosotis thinks Amarilis is involved in a bad relationship with Rich, her wealthy white boyfriend. Rich is controlling and abusive, and Miosotis knows she needs to do something to help. Author Hilda Eunice Burgos explores the issue of colorism through this multigenerational Dominican American family. Miosotis herself is darker-skinned with textured hair, like her Papi, while Amarilis has light hair and eyes like their late mother. This title provides a tremendous exploration of complex topics which allows readers to see the effects of abuse and the dangers of keeping silent firsthand. Students will enjoy reading about the family and how these complicated situations are addressed. The author’s note reveals reasons why the author decided to tackle these particular topics.