Allie, First at Last: 12/03/16
Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes is about an extraordinary family who have all won an award or achieved something amazing while still in elementary school — all except for Allie who hasn't. She's in her last year at Sendak and has one last chance to win an award — for the trail blazers essay contest.
Allie Velasco choses her bisabuelo (great grandfather) and his bravery in WWII. Frankly, her great grandfather is the most interesting person in the entire book. It's not that he's a war hero. That's not what's played up. He doesn't brag about his heroics. He's more reserved — maybe even humbled by his time as a GI. He's also the one person in Allie's immediate family who recognizes the pressure she's under to live up to the standards set by all these awards.
Another interesting and well rounded character is Victor. Allie completely misreads him, especially after he makes an idiotic, impulsive move at the science fair. He though is Allie's counterpart — the one who wants to be first to succeed in his family. He wants to be the first to graduate high school and the first to attend college.
While Allie's family is a multigenerational Mexican-American family, Victor and his family are immigrants. It is through Victor's story and his struggles to improve himself and to make his mother proud, that Allie begins to better understand her bisabuelo's experience.
Comment #1: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 22:27:01
Thank you for the review. I hope you don't mind if I share it. ;)
Comment #2: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 20:14:22
No, of course not! Share away.