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The Last Cuentista

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There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years l There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?


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There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years l There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

30 review for The Last Cuentista

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    This beautiful book is going to blow people's minds. It MATTERS. This beautiful book is going to blow people's minds. It MATTERS.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: “I can’t believe we’re leaving you.” ... “It’s impossible for you to leave me. I’m part of you. You’re taking me and my stories to a new planet and hundreds of years into the future. How lucky I am.” (c) Q: I don’t want to imagine them being so afraid they’d try to hide from something they can’t hide from. Instead, I picture Lita and Tía Berta lying under the red-and-black fringed blanket, drinking coffee with “secret sauce” as they watch the nagual snake come home. “Berta! This isn’t the time to b Q: “I can’t believe we’re leaving you.” ... “It’s impossible for you to leave me. I’m part of you. You’re taking me and my stories to a new planet and hundreds of years into the future. How lucky I am.” (c) Q: I don’t want to imagine them being so afraid they’d try to hide from something they can’t hide from. Instead, I picture Lita and Tía Berta lying under the red-and-black fringed blanket, drinking coffee with “secret sauce” as they watch the nagual snake come home. “Berta! This isn’t the time to be stingy.” Lita would tip the brown glass bottle, pouring rich liquid of the same color into her coffee cup. “I suppose you’re right,” Tía Berta replies. “We won’t have another Christmas to keep this for.” Lita will make an even bigger pour into Tía Berta’s cup. They’ll clink their clay mugs, take a long drink, and lean back shoulder to shoulder against Tía Berta’s one-hundred-year-old pecan tree. This is the story my mind will keep of them. (c) Q: I’m supposed to feel happy my parents were chosen to go to the new planet, Sagan. But I feel like I’ve been given the last glass of water on Earth and I’m just gulping it down while everyone watches. (c) Q:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aimee LaGrandeur

    The Last Cuentista is S T U N N I N G, both as a physical book and as a story. Petra Peña is a young girl who embarks on a journey as humanity’s last hope when Halley’s (sp?) comet officially heads on a collision course with earth. Petra and her family of highly trained scientists are put in status for the 300 year journey, but the some of the monitors who will live out their lives on the ship carrying for those in status form the Collective—a society that evolves physically and erases the histo The Last Cuentista is S T U N N I N G, both as a physical book and as a story. Petra Peña is a young girl who embarks on a journey as humanity’s last hope when Halley’s (sp?) comet officially heads on a collision course with earth. Petra and her family of highly trained scientists are put in status for the 300 year journey, but the some of the monitors who will live out their lives on the ship carrying for those in status form the Collective—a society that evolves physically and erases the history, culture, and stories of humanity. When Petra awake, she finds herself a servant to the collective with only her cuentas to save her and the remaining “relic” (OG) humans. I have not come across too much middle grade sci-fi in my experience as the target demographic for books or as a bookseller (though granted, the genre isn’t my specialty) and this novel is not only another book to contribute to a limited niche, it’s like the freaking crown jewel of the whole genre. The Giver who??? The Last Cuentista deals with the same themes via dystopian fiction, but sprinkles in Mexican folklore to make an argument for storytelling. Petra is a phenomenal protagonist; she’s brave, smart, and she’s got a lot of heart. She preservers through a lot of loss (tbh this book has a pretty solid core of sadness) and ultimately has enough hope and tenacity to bouy the whole god damn human race. The Last Cuentista does an outstanding job at demonstrating that diversity, culture, heritage, language, and stories are all the good bits of humanity. All in all, easily my new favorite middle grade book. For readers 10 and up. Should replace The Giver in the literary cannon/school curriculum for dystopian fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The worst thing you can do to your dystopia is to let it grow stale. After all, the true joy of science fiction is its capacity for variety. Say the term “science fiction” and it conjures up images of robots and space rockets and the like. All fine and good things but the whole point of the genre is to think up things that could be. And what could be is infinite. That’s why it’s so silly when science fiction books for kids get all samey. The sky’s the limit (a silly phrase in this case since a l The worst thing you can do to your dystopia is to let it grow stale. After all, the true joy of science fiction is its capacity for variety. Say the term “science fiction” and it conjures up images of robots and space rockets and the like. All fine and good things but the whole point of the genre is to think up things that could be. And what could be is infinite. That’s why it’s so silly when science fiction books for kids get all samey. The sky’s the limit (a silly phrase in this case since a lot of these books go far beyond the sky but you get what I’m saying). We’ve seen recent strides in middle grade science fiction stories that include non-binary or queer characters, and more than a few have intersectional leanings (the Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl comes immediately to mind). All this is to say that I probably should have been ready for the conjurings out of the brain of Donna Barba Higuera in The Last Cuentista but there’s something to be said for pleasant surprises too. A delicious mix of dystopian fiction, Mexican folklore, and good old-fashioned high drama, this is the kind of science fiction that has the potential to lure in even those people that don’t usually indulge in futuristic fantastical imaginings. Halley’s Comet, man. Who knew it would spell the end of Earth? But when its trajectory got knocked off-course, it ended up headed straight for our planet. Now only three ships holding a scant couple thousand people on each will contain the last of humanity. They’re heading to Sagan, a planet that should be able to support life. The catch? It’ll take three hundred and eighty years to get there. Petra, her little brother Javier, and her mom and dad are some of the lucky ones. They’ll be put to sleep the whole time with recordings connected directly to their brains to teach them everything they’ll need to know when they arrive. But Petra doesn’t want to be a scientist like her parents. She loves her grandmother’s folktales and yearns to be a storyteller too. She expects she’ll be given them to listen to and then arrive into the future full of stories. What she doesn’t expect is that in the intervening three hundred some years a revolution will occur amongst the awake Monitors that are supposed to tend to the sleeping passengers. When she resurfaces, Petra will find that she’s perhaps the only person on the ship with memories of Earth. Because now the ones in charge are people with genetically enhanced transparent skin. People with a singular mind. People who would do anything to keep the knowledge Petra has from getting out. Stephen King once wrote a truly horrifying short story about space travel and a family having to be put asleep for the trip called “The Jaunt”. I guess it affected me more than I thought, particularly because I instantly thought of it in the book’s early moments. That’s when Petra discovers she hasn’t been properly put to sleep and can hear everything going on around her. She worries considerably that she’ll be awake for hundreds of years and frets about what that might do to her sanity. Space travel science fiction for kids is, as I mentioned, generally kept a pretty safe place. Higuera isn’t afraid to inject hers with a little fear. At one point in the tale Petra tells someone the story of la Llorona and you understand how the stories Petra tells and the stories Higuera is telling both require a bit of fear to make their best work. And it is Petra’s storytelling that is her secret gift. With storytelling she can overcome the barbarity of her enemies. She can break through false narratives and plant real ones. And she can ultimately win the day. This book is probably one of the best defenses of storytelling you’ll find in a novel for kids for quite a long time. Of course, there’s a sadness at the core of the book, but I found personal ways around that. I mean, I can’t be the only reader that found out that Petra's parents were dead and gave a sigh of relief. Is that terrible? Killing off the parents is a time-honored tradition in children’s literature and The Last Cuentista is no exception. It’s a little weird, but as an adult reading this book I found myself getting nervous about our main character having to protect her closest family members from the future in which they found themselves. Removing Mom and Dad from the picture frees up a book's hero considerably. Not that Petra doesn’t feel responsible for others, but it does give her ample opportunities to become an active protagonist. Petra, I am sure, would love to be passive. But as passivity is precisely what the “Collective” would want from her, she is forced into a position of planning, strategy, and escape. Some of the best moments of the book are when she puts her plans into action. It’s fun to watch an author think through various contingencies (particularly when they’re contingencies that they themselves imagined). It’s so tricky for a book to be both a standalone success and open to sequels. Higuera walks that line as delicately as she can. This isn’t an ending along the lines of other dystopian children’s classics like The Giver. Higuera knows that short of making this book 500-pages long, the smartest thing is to give it a temporary happy ending. I am dead certain a sequel will come along, but I for one will enjoy the ending spelled out for us here. It’s rooted in hope, one of the book’s many themes, and something we need increasingly in our children’s books these days. So for the kid that likes their science fiction dark with marvelous villains and a strong core message about individuality, storytelling, and hope, I can’t think of a better book to hand over. A dystopia you’ll be happy to dive into deeply. For ages 10 and up.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    I don't know how to formulate the words to describe how beautiful this book is. This book is about how important it is to not only remember the stories of our ancestors, but to create our own as well. This book is about knowing where you came from and having the free will to decide where you're going. This book is about embracing our differences, flaws and all, because that is what makes us human. Maybe I'm just an emotional person, but it's 4;30AM and I'm crying about how much I love this book I don't know how to formulate the words to describe how beautiful this book is. This book is about how important it is to not only remember the stories of our ancestors, but to create our own as well. This book is about knowing where you came from and having the free will to decide where you're going. This book is about embracing our differences, flaws and all, because that is what makes us human. Maybe I'm just an emotional person, but it's 4;30AM and I'm crying about how much I love this book

  6. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    yo this book went SO FUCKING HARD, gonna blow a lot of tween minds in the way that The Giver did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    By my count, it's been twenty years since a dystopian novel was recognized by the Newbery Committee. The Last Cuentista is my top pick this year. By my count, it's been twenty years since a dystopian novel was recognized by the Newbery Committee. The Last Cuentista is my top pick this year.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Martinez Figueroa

    The amount of tears and snot I have shed over this book!!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (That's So Poe)

    I don't see too much middle grade science fiction, so I loved getting the chance to read this. It's an excellent generational spaceship story that explores the importance of history and storytelling in defining who we are as people even as we move to new planets and leave our earth behind. The main character, Petra, is resilient and caring and does whatever she can to protect the people around her. I especially loved that she is dealing with a sight disability which is very much a part of her li I don't see too much middle grade science fiction, so I loved getting the chance to read this. It's an excellent generational spaceship story that explores the importance of history and storytelling in defining who we are as people even as we move to new planets and leave our earth behind. The main character, Petra, is resilient and caring and does whatever she can to protect the people around her. I especially loved that she is dealing with a sight disability which is very much a part of her life and affects how she interacts with the world around her, but doesn't define her role in the book. The story at times felt a little clunky and there were a few instances where it was hard to suspend disbelief, but the lovely themes and messages and great sci-fi elements made it such a worthwhile read. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Higuera writes next! Content Warnings: extremism, death of a family member, genocide, injury

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Hunt

    THAT’S how you tell a story. Higuera knows how to write a book with stakes! There was so much on the line at every turn keeping you on the edge of your seat (or curled up in the fetal position empathizing with the main character’s many losses). This book definitely expects a lot from its readers as far as piecing together complex ideas and drawing conclusions. I would say it’s for voracious 11-13 year old readers. (I happen to live with one who will love this.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25 🌎 This is a middle grade book about how we should not only remember our ancestors but also create our own future. This book talks so much about how important it is for us to embrace what we have and reach horizons we never though we would reach. This story also sprinkles Mexican folklore, which if you know me then you know I love those stories. ☄️ I honestly don’t have enough words to tell you freaking beautiful and impactful this story was. I don’t think I have ever related to a midd ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25 🌎 This is a middle grade book about how we should not only remember our ancestors but also create our own future. This book talks so much about how important it is for us to embrace what we have and reach horizons we never though we would reach. This story also sprinkles Mexican folklore, which if you know me then you know I love those stories. ☄️ I honestly don’t have enough words to tell you freaking beautiful and impactful this story was. I don’t think I have ever related to a middle grade as much as I did with this one. It’s so beautifully written and is told in such a wonderful way that makes you shed tears after tears. Normally I don’t go for middle grade, and especially not fantasy, sci-fi, or dystopian - but holy crap this book took me to a whole different expedition then I was expecting it to be. 🚀 I can happily say I visited the stars and reached new horizons after this book. It was so well written and makes you devour it page by page. I would absolutely love to see this become a must read book for middle graders… sorry The Giver, but you have been replaced. Okay but in all seriousness, this book just impacted me in so many ways. It spoke to my heart and made me realize how important it is to live live and enjoy it. Oh I’ll be holding this book in my heart for so long. Just WOW! ✨ Thank you so much @levinequerido for sending me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. ✨

  12. 4 out of 5

    S.R. Toliver

    Review for Horn Book: When a solar flare knocks Halley’s Comet off course, a small group of citizens are selected to leave Earth and colonize a new planet to ensure humanity’s survival. Once on board, the citizens are put to sleep, suspended in time until they reach the new planet, Sagan, approximately four centuries later. When twelve-year-old Petra Pena wakes up, however, she learns that a cult-like group, The Collective, has taken over the ship, purged citizens who failed to comply, and erase Review for Horn Book: When a solar flare knocks Halley’s Comet off course, a small group of citizens are selected to leave Earth and colonize a new planet to ensure humanity’s survival. Once on board, the citizens are put to sleep, suspended in time until they reach the new planet, Sagan, approximately four centuries later. When twelve-year-old Petra Pena wakes up, however, she learns that a cult-like group, The Collective, has taken over the ship, purged citizens who failed to comply, and erased all memory of Earth or its diverse inhabitants. What’s left of humanity is forced to live their lives in service to The Collective, foregoing individuality and personal need. As an aspiring storyteller and one of the only people who remembers life before The Collective, Petra must rely on her Mexican storytelling heritage to protect the remaining humans from life as Collective drones. She must follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become a cuentista, using storytelling to save humanity and remind her companions of the histories that were taken from them. Through The Collective, Higuera foregrounds common misguided attempts to eliminate violence and war through the sterilization of humanity. Through Petra, Higuera showcases how cultural memory, familial bonds, and story are essential to the progression of humanity and how cultural difference is indispensable now and in the future.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nessa

    AAHHH I was crying at my desk at work !!! Frankie Corzo is an amazing narrator! Really amazing with the emotions of every character in the book. A world without stories would be a horrible world to live in! What an amazing book! Petra is young earthling who is sad to leave earth behind as Halley's comet is on a collusion course to Earth, threatening to wipe out all of earth's living beings. Petra is about to be put in a long slumber as they travel 400 years to their new planet. Just as Ben, thei AAHHH I was crying at my desk at work !!! Frankie Corzo is an amazing narrator! Really amazing with the emotions of every character in the book. A world without stories would be a horrible world to live in! What an amazing book! Petra is young earthling who is sad to leave earth behind as Halley's comet is on a collusion course to Earth, threatening to wipe out all of earth's living beings. Petra is about to be put in a long slumber as they travel 400 years to their new planet. Just as Ben, their sleep guide, is rushed as an armed group of desperate humans tries to board as well. Petra is feeling the sleep over come her but she notices that she is still wide awake but unable to move or speak. But as Ben loads her learning modules for her deep sleep, she finally begins to sleep through her long journey... Petra is suddenly awaken by the Councilor of a sinister group, the Collective, that has overtaken their ship. The Collective is a new race of humans with no ties to their past to ensure that their futures are without conflict. Which to Petra means no more stories. This frightens her as she blends in with the Collective under her new name. Will Petra find her family and save the stories dancing in her head?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    One of the best middle grade readers of 2021. Not nearly getting as much love/buzz as it should. I hope it surprises everyone and wins a Newbery in 2022.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate Eminhizer

    This book was so delightful! It truly reads as a love story to Mexican folklore. The audiobook is by far the best way for non-Spanish speaking readers to enjoy this inspiring tale. In essence the plot is a space odyssey gone wrong. Those who were selected to go into stasis for the 300+ years it would take to travel to a new planet are awakened at varying intervals to a much different society than what they had planned for. Petra is one of only a few that have any memories of Earth and she single This book was so delightful! It truly reads as a love story to Mexican folklore. The audiobook is by far the best way for non-Spanish speaking readers to enjoy this inspiring tale. In essence the plot is a space odyssey gone wrong. Those who were selected to go into stasis for the 300+ years it would take to travel to a new planet are awakened at varying intervals to a much different society than what they had planned for. Petra is one of only a few that have any memories of Earth and she singlehandedly attempts to right the wrongs instituted by the "Collective". All she wants is to live out her life with her family on the new planet as a storyteller like her abuela. Through her cuentos (short stories) she is both able to remember her culture and help her friends remember too. A reminder to us all as to how important stories are in our lives.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Connelly

    Wow, the Last Cuentista was absolutely superb! 10/10, easy. The consistent integration of the folk storytelling element is genius and executed perfectly. Petra is a marvelous main character and she moved me to tears with her heart and devotion and grit. This is one of those rare books that I’d like to erase my brain and read all over again. I honestly haven’t read anything like this especially in the middle reader genre though it seems to me to be teetering more towards the 12 years and up age gro Wow, the Last Cuentista was absolutely superb! 10/10, easy. The consistent integration of the folk storytelling element is genius and executed perfectly. Petra is a marvelous main character and she moved me to tears with her heart and devotion and grit. This is one of those rare books that I’d like to erase my brain and read all over again. I honestly haven’t read anything like this especially in the middle reader genre though it seems to me to be teetering more towards the 12 years and up age group rather than the 8-12 range it’s billed for. I would definitely recommend this to a reader who isn’t quite ready for the content typical in YA but is beginning to advance out of middle-grade fiction.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    When I was a middle school librarian, I could time travel and become a teenager reading YA books. Cannot do that very well any more. Themes in this novel were so much the same as in so many others that I did not want to spend many hours with it. Premise was interesting, but after one hundred pages, I skipped to the end just to see how it ended. Was satisfied and am ready to start something else.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Clay

    Another terrific offering from Levine Querido, this one a dystopian sci fi middle grade featuring a brave young Latinx storyteller, Petra, determined to carry her grandmother's stories into space for generations to come when disaster strikes earth. Would make a stellar audio. Recommended. Another terrific offering from Levine Querido, this one a dystopian sci fi middle grade featuring a brave young Latinx storyteller, Petra, determined to carry her grandmother's stories into space for generations to come when disaster strikes earth. Would make a stellar audio. Recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nay Keppler

    For me, this book came outta nowhere and struck like lightning. Beautiful, beautiful lightning!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Boyd

    ok. I ATE this book in 3 days with my ears. This was a fantastic audiobook. This book absolutely is one of the middle-grade/YA line crossers which would be as enjoyable for 4th grade up into teen and adult. I can see kids not quite ready for Hunger Games loving this. I also see fans of The Giver enjoying this book. The possibility to talk about so many things in a book club or a classroom exists in this novel. There are a couple of small tiny things that irk me now that I have finished this, but ok. I ATE this book in 3 days with my ears. This was a fantastic audiobook. This book absolutely is one of the middle-grade/YA line crossers which would be as enjoyable for 4th grade up into teen and adult. I can see kids not quite ready for Hunger Games loving this. I also see fans of The Giver enjoying this book. The possibility to talk about so many things in a book club or a classroom exists in this novel. There are a couple of small tiny things that irk me now that I have finished this, but it is in my top 5 for the year across genre and age ranges.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I had seen "The Last Cuentista" mentioned once the day before it won the 2022 Newbery Medal. I knew nothing about it when I clicked "borrow" and started listening to the audiobook, but I was immediately hooked. I really enjoyed this addition to the dystopian / post-apocalyptic genre for upper middle grade. Donna Barba Higuera presents ideas that are worth talking about. Bonus: Petra's dad makes a rosary out of red and yellow jasper that he found and shaped into beads; and it is one of the items t I had seen "The Last Cuentista" mentioned once the day before it won the 2022 Newbery Medal. I knew nothing about it when I clicked "borrow" and started listening to the audiobook, but I was immediately hooked. I really enjoyed this addition to the dystopian / post-apocalyptic genre for upper middle grade. Donna Barba Higuera presents ideas that are worth talking about. Bonus: Petra's dad makes a rosary out of red and yellow jasper that he found and shaped into beads; and it is one of the items that is important enough for him to take to space. Awesome. 4.5 stars

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens

    In the year 2061, a solar flare has altered the course of Halley’s Comet, putting Earth and its inhabitants right in its trajectory. Twelve-year-old Petra and her family are some of the few chosen to continue human life on another planet. But when she wakes up from her 380-year stasis, nothing is as they were promised.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Thomas

    Going onto my list of all time greats. What a book 🤯

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Heidrich

    I admit it took me a bit to get into this one, but once. hooked, I was. all in! The main character Petra is someone you can connect with immediately in this book! There are so many quotables in this book, but it's about family, found family, storytelling, knowing who you are and fighting for what you believe in and so much more! And that cover! I admit it took me a bit to get into this one, but once. hooked, I was. all in! The main character Petra is someone you can connect with immediately in this book! There are so many quotables in this book, but it's about family, found family, storytelling, knowing who you are and fighting for what you believe in and so much more! And that cover!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenna (Falling Letters)

    Cybils 2021 finalist for middle grade speculative fiction. Winners announced 14 February 2022. RTC after that. Cybils 2021 finalist for middle grade speculative fiction. Winners announced 14 February 2022. RTC after that.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Guyor Jowett

    From the opening chapters to the very last word and letter, I found myself engrossed in this novel. Donna Barba Higuera masterfully weaves Mexican folklore into science fiction, sharing a love of family, the importance of story, and a hope in humanity. I could not love this book more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Gonzales Cooper

    This book was stunning and completely engrossing. I am such a sucker for a story that illustrates the importance of storytelling. The weaving of Mexican folklore and sci-fi was done beautifully. The language was very rich and complex. I was very surprised about the amount of things that happened in this book. It was very sad and heartbreaking at times. There is a scene in the book that had me crying. It was done so well, but gut wrenching. I don’t think this one is for sensitive middle grade rea This book was stunning and completely engrossing. I am such a sucker for a story that illustrates the importance of storytelling. The weaving of Mexican folklore and sci-fi was done beautifully. The language was very rich and complex. I was very surprised about the amount of things that happened in this book. It was very sad and heartbreaking at times. There is a scene in the book that had me crying. It was done so well, but gut wrenching. I don’t think this one is for sensitive middle grade readers. The only problem I had with this book was that I wanted more. I thought it ended a little quick. A very well deserved Newbery medal. Highly recommend if you like sci-fi with a mix of folklore.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Ashby

    I love sci fi when it's done right (right for me, at least) and this one hit all kinds of high points. There were twists throughout that kept upping my interest in the story - (view spoiler)[cryosleep tube issues, bad guy takeover of the ship, the utopian collective turns out to not be all that great after all, dead family, NOT dead family, uncharted planet.... (hide spoiler)] . Petra starts out pretty strong and just gets better as she finds a way to save those she can from a lifetime of drone- I love sci fi when it's done right (right for me, at least) and this one hit all kinds of high points. There were twists throughout that kept upping my interest in the story - (view spoiler)[cryosleep tube issues, bad guy takeover of the ship, the utopian collective turns out to not be all that great after all, dead family, NOT dead family, uncharted planet.... (hide spoiler)] . Petra starts out pretty strong and just gets better as she finds a way to save those she can from a lifetime of drone-like servitude. Of course I like the value placed on a book and on stories in preserving humanity.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book was SO GOOD. Definitely the best middle grade/lower YA book I’ve read this year. Move over The Giver, there’s a new story in town! I could not put this story down. While sometimes I felt like the setting could have used a bit more development (we don’t really understand how the space journey works, etc), the lack of world mechanics is made up for in how wonderfully the author explores human nature and how love echoes into eternity. Pure magic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa the Librarian

    This book was SO GOOD. Definitely the best middle grade/lower YA book I’ve read this year. Move over The Giver, there’s a new story in town! I could not put this story down. While sometimes I felt like the setting could have used a bit more development (we don’t really understand how the space journey works, etc), the lack of world mechanics is made up for in how wonderfully the author explores human nature and how love echoes into eternity. Pure magic.

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