Parents' Guide to

Merci Suárez Can't Dance: Merci Suárez, Book 2

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Merci deals with racism, family, boys in delightful sequel.

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This delightful sequel to an award-winning book is brimming with family, culture, and adventure and engages fans right away. This time, Merci finds more ways to get into mischief, eventually pulling herself out of trouble with big life lessons in tow. Being in her brother's shadow has been challenging, since Roli is the high-achiever poster boy. But now that he's at university, Merci carries more responsibility at home, and she has to carve out her own reputation in school. In short, Merci has some character-building to do.

The questions that Merci asks in Merci Suárez Can't Dance are big ones, and the answers she finds -- and the lessons she learns -- are satisfying. It's not all about values and morals, though. There's enough pop culture and middle-school drama in this story to keep tweens riveted. Coming of age when there's a lot of pressure is tough, but in Merci's story, the humor is twinkling, the sadness is heart-wrenching, and the joy is exuberant.

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