Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Time Is Snowed on Puerto Rico

by Sarah McCoy

The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico is a coming of age novel and I am not a big fan of this type of book. I think too many years of teaching them in middle school has just made me very jaded in regards to this genre. That being said, I rather enjoyed this one. Not only is Verdita, a young Puerto Rican girl struggleing with growing up, Puerto Rico itself is also experiencing growing pains. Taking place during the early 1060s, the Puerto Rican independence movement is just finding its voice.

At times enamoured by all things American, yet still tied so strongly to her Puerto Rican heritage, Verdita is not sure where she fits in. She convinces herself that if she just changes her hair she will be beautiful, like the American women she sees in magazines. She convinces her aunt to cut her beautiful black hair and dye it blonde, so she can be more American -- it is a disaster -- kind of like the summer before 9th grade when I used bottle after bottle of Sun-In trying to be Barbie blonde and ended up with Lucille Ball orange hair!

Having been to Puerto Rico many times, I felt myself immersed in local culture while reading. From the sights and sounds of San Juan to the foliage and quiet forests of the forests, you could hear the coqui frogs and see the crowds of the city. I was given this book by the publisher at the National Council for Social Studies Convention. Their goal being that I would choose to use this book in my class. While it does not meet the needs of my advanced students, were I still teaching middle school, I would certainly consider it as it has more cultural meat to it than most other coming of age novels.

Rating - B

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy I've been wondering about this one. I have it in my library stack, so thanks for the great review Jenny.