Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 133
Finding Oneself
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
‘Merci Suarez Can’t Dance’ by Meg Medina follows main character Merci Suárez through seventh grade. She has a lot to live up to, from her brother Roli's influence on her academic career, to holding her own against Edna Santos, the girl who is in charge of the annual Heart Ball. In very typical middle school fashion, Merci realizes that it's difficult to find people to talk to about her problems—and problems she has, both good and not-so-good, from the way she grows to like Wilson Bellevue, the boy with whom she manages the school store, to family issues, including her ailing grandfather.

Coming into one's own is hard enough without so many obstacles. Merci is certainly not the only seventh grade girl to deal with drama and frustration, and she won't be the last. As if school isn't enough for her to worry about, she also grows concerned when her Tia Inez gets a new boyfriend. Merci worries that her aunt won't be around anymore.

The focus on diversity, growth, and early teenager ups and downs is great for readers, no matter their age. Medina hits on topics that come together to show that everyone is capable of finding themselves and the niche that fits them best if they just take the time to discover what matters to them. Life isn't easy at any age, and this is most definitely true in middle school when hormones and puberty are running rampant.
Good Points
The focus on diversity, growth, and early teenager ups and downs is great for readers, no matter their age. Medina hits on topics that come together to show that everyone is capable of finding themselves and the niche that fits them best if they just take the time to discover what matters to them.
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