Parents' Guide to

Summer of the Mariposas

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Fantastical quest explores sisterhood and Mexican legends.

Summer of the Mariposas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

Ban this book from schools!

I have not read this book, but am relying on a 12 year who has listened to audio of this book. She enthusiastically recounted an adventure one would hardly consider worthy of educational material, despite the heralded review on this website. Having read the classics, this book is hardly worthy of comparison to great literature, nor is it worthy of audio distribution, when children should be polishing their reading skills. They already know how to listen. Is the intent, to de-educate children? While you are likely shocked at a scathing review, please know that I am a published author, editorial writer, and judge for Florida Writers competitions. To say that I am shocked and appalled that this book was given such accolades, such that it slithered into the Florida school system, leaves me wondering what writers and educators are thinking. I understand promotion. It’s PROFIT! Books like “Huckleberry Finn,” have been banned from our schools. A book that raised extraordinary moral questions, that made students THINK, are jettisoned for the likes of Mariposas. That the United States is undergoing a human tragedy,the likes unknown in modern history, of people, lethal drugs pouring across our southern border, cartels, children killed, rapes, murders, innocents enslaved, released prisoners from China, an unknowable number of deaths from this horrific event, is gut wrenching…yet amid international inhumanity of a specter our minds cannot conceive, appears Mariposas, starry- eyed, impish little girls trek the route, cross the Rio Grande, and somehow incorporate a corpse in their escapade. Amid this nightmare, the Mariposas engage in fun and frolic of classical proportions? Now, this may be an extraordinary PR stunt, but it’s an accurate portrayal example of lowering our educational standards while depriving our children of meaningful literature. It is the devolution of culture. Presumably, the authors next book will convert the fun and frivolity of the Black Death, and if the promotion is stellar, we can expect the audio, video, and smell of rotting flesh, while oozing pustules pile up next to their desks…..and if educators respond to that inclusion into the school system, they’ll begin earlier and children won’t even have to learn to read or write. They’ll simply absorb the horror. Won’t that be fun?

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

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

McCall obviously writes what she knows; the firsthand knowledge of being raised Mexican and American (with so many sisters!) comes through in her achingly realistic story. Not only did she grow up in the same town as her characters, but she also has five younger sisters to whom she dedicated the book. Although the sisters make a lot of decisions that will make adult readers cringe in horror, it makes perfect sense that alternately naive and know-it-allish preteens and adolescents would make a lot of mistakes on a fantastical journey toward self-discovery and reconciliation with their mother.

The author excels at depicting the love between mothers and children. Whether it's the cancer-stricken Mami in Under the Mesquite or the downtrodden and jilted Mamá (or the eternally grieving La Llorona) in Summer of Mariposas, Garcia McCall beautifully describes the unconditional and fierce way a mother cares for her hijitas. It's hard to find truly multicultural literature for tweens and teens, so it's a relief to know authors like Garcia McCall make it a priority to explore the way bilingual kids navigate both cultures.

Book Details

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