A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Solimar: The Sword of Monarchs is a beautifully crafted fantasy that will seamlessly immerse young readers in Mexican culture, from Solimar's rebozo (shawl) to the importance of her upcoming quinceañera (in which she will be crowned a princess of the world).
Solimar: The Sword of Monarchs is packed with beautiful messages about courage, determination, the value of family and teamwork, the power of true friendship, and the importance of facing your fears. Beauty can be found in nature. Be kind to and have empathy for all living beings.
Positive Role Models
Solimar and Berto are to exemplary role models for young readers. Solimar is a princess who's thrown headfirst into an adventure to save her family, She's equipped with powers that put her in danger and demonstrates her courage, kindness, and fierce tenacity when she embarks on a journey that promises imminent danger to save those she loves. Her connection to the monarch butterflies shows young readers that kindness and empathy should extend toward all living beings. Her friend Berto is just as courageous. After tragedy strikes his family, Berto shows great perseverance and creativity by trying to save his village through his innovative plans. Though things don't seem to go as planned, Berto never gives up, determined to find a solution.
Shows young readers the beauty of Mexican culture through Solimar's eyes and her fictional kingdom of San Gregorio. Solimar is a Mexican princess whose identity is rooted in her Mexican ancestry. Young Latino readers will find in Solimar's adventures an unapologetic celebration of their culture, full of color, pride, and magic.
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Violence & Scariness
The book has dangerous situations, but there's only one outright violent scene. When a neighboring king invades, there's a bit of a scuffle and members of the castle are essentially kidnaped. Solimar and her friends must brave a deadly river and survive a bat-infested cavern. One character is magically swept away by a powerful tornado.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs is a fantasy-filled adventure by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo, Esperanza Rising). Solimar explores Mexican culture and identity. Set in the fictional kingdom of San Gregorio and steeped in ancient Mexican and Hispanic traditions, the novel presents the reader with a courageous young hero, 15-year-old princess Solimar, whose love for her kingdom and the magical monarch butterflies that depend on it shines on every page. There are dangerous situations -- Solimar and her friends brave a deadly river and a bat-infested cavern -- but only one outright violent scene. When a neighboring king invades, there's a scuffle and members of the castle are kidnaped. One character is magically swept away by a tornado.
Is It Any Good?
This exciting fantasy adventure is a beautiful journey through an imaginary kingdom that is very clearly inspired by Mexican culture and lore. Mexican princess Solimar's bravery, strength, and love for her people and her friends will keep readers enthralled. The colorful, joyous descriptions of San Gregorio (Solimar's kingdom) will enchant young readers with Mexico's beauty. A lively tale of bravery and perseverance, Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs is filled with heart and more than a sprinkle of magic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.