Parents' Guide to

Merci Suárez Changes Gears: Merci Suárez, Book 1

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Upbeat coming-of-age story explores culture, class, aging.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears: Merci Suárez, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Fascinating in its depiction of Cuban American culture, this optimistic story portrays immigrant life in South Florida. Kids will relate to the OMG-so-awkward moments that Merci suffers in sixth grade. Her place in the social pecking order isn't quite secure, and the girls she thought were her friends show flashes of brilliant charm and stunning cruelty in the blink of an eye. What Merci has that those kids might not is a rich family tradition that's so woven into her core values that she's unaware of how lucky she is. Sure, she shares a room with her brother and is obligated to watch her twin cousins after school, but the pride she takes in playing on her Papi's soccer team, and the loving relationship she shares with her grandfather, Lolo, are priceless.

Author Meg Medina immerses Merci Suárez Changes Gears in a culture that many readers might not be intimately familiar with. The "Gilda" crackers, the Noche-buena Christmas Eve traditions, the delicious food her abuela cooks, and most of all, the closeness that defines many immigrant families. The plot takes a few chapters to get moving, but by the end of the book, Merci and her family feel like friends and neighbors.

Book Details

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