On These Magic Shores

By Kirkus Reviews

When Mamá fails to return home after her evening job, it is up to 12-year-old Minerva Soledad Miranda to take care of her younger sisters and hold the family together.The family lives in a moldy basement apartment, and Mamá works two jobs and dresses the girls in hand-me-downs. In spite of the obstacles, Minerva has her life all figured out. The Argentine American seventh grader will be "the first Latina president of the United States." And the first step to that goal is to get the lead role in Peter Pan, the school play. But nothing is working out. First, and most importantly, Mamá has gone missing. Then, Minerva gets the role of Tiger Lily, a character with only one line—"how"—and one that Minerva finds offensive to Native Americans, prompting her to take action. As the book progresses, Méndez tackles problems of racism, discrimination, income inequality, immigration, and ethnic and cultural stereotypes. There is much to like, and readers will find a strong and resilient character they can root for in this story.