Juana & Lucas
Juana & Lucas

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Series: Juana & Lucas Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Spunky Colombian girl Juana loves many things: her pet dog, her home in Bogota, even eating brussels sprouts; but she does not love learning English--until her grandparents explain that she'll be using the tricky language on a special trip.
Catalog Number: #128771
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Chapter Book Chapter Book
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 88 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-7208-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-95488-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-7208-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-95488-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016945893
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Meet Juana, a lively and opinionated grade school girl growing up in Bogotá, Colombia. She strongly dislikes wearing her hot and itchy school uniform but even more having to learn to speak English: "Why not just speak in Spanish? It is SO much easier!"Juana comes from a middle-class white family. She likes drawing, the superhero Astroman, and eating Brussels sprouts. She loves Bogotá, reading, her mother, and her dog, Lucas. When she finds out they will be learning to speak English in school, Juana is not happy. She's got trouble enough with learning math. English is muy hard. Told from Juana's point of view with humor and drama, using capitalized words, periods separating words for emphasis, and a good sprinkling of Spanish words throughout, the book makes clear there's a universality to Juana's story. The ink-and-watercolor cartoon-style illustrations are charming, but depictions of the city are less precise than those of its diverse inhabitants. Readers not familiar with Bogotá will fail to get a real sense of place. And Juana's trouble with English? Suffice it to say a promised trip to the U.S.A. to meet Astroman proves to be a great incentive. The real gift of this book comes from presenting a different point of reference to American children who hear only stories of poverty and need coming out of South America. (Fiction. 5-9)
Publishers Weekly
A Colombian girl takes on her greatest challenge-the English language-in this cheery series opener. Juana lives in Bogotá, where she enjoys life with her family and dog, Lucas. When English is introduced in school, Juana asks everyone she knows if she really has to learn another language. Medina (1 Big Salad) incorporates italicized Spanish words throughout Juana-s first-person narration, always providing enough context clues so that English-speaking readers can do some language-learning of their own (-When a grown-up says something is going to be a ton of fun, it means there will be no fun at all. Not even a single bit of fun. Nada de fun-). Enlarged words and phrases creative type placement help emphasize Juana-s lively attitude as she discovers the ways that English can be useful. Medina-s loose, full-color cartoons and interspersed profiles of the people in Juana-s life add to the overall playfulness of the story. It-s an inviting look at life in Colombia, and readers will probably be struck by just how much they have in common with Juana. Ages 5-8. Agent: Gillian MacKenzie, Gillian MacKenzie Agency. (Sept.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 24 Juana lives in Bogotá, Colombia, with her dog Lucas. She loves brussels sprouts, drawing, and especially the comic book superhero Astroman. She most definitely does not like learning "the English." When her teacher says learning English is going to be a "ton of fun," Juana knows that it will really be "nada de fun." Her abuelo , or Abue for short, is a brain surgeon and tries to explain to Juana how learning English can be very useful. He also has a bribeif Juana learns English, he will take her to the Spaceland amusement park in Florida, where only English is spoken, even by her hero Astroman. Medina has written a first-person narrative filled with expressive description. Spanish words are used throughout, and their meaning is made clear through context. As both author and illustrator, Medina is able to integrate the text and illustrations in unique ways, including spreads in which Juana tells us why, for example, she strongly dislikes her school uniform or why Mami is the most important person in her life. Font design is also used creatively, such as when Medina traces the arc of a soccer ball hit hard enough to be sent "across the field." VERDICT An essential selection that creates multicultural awareness, has distinguished and appealing design elements, and has a text that is the stuff of true literature. Tim Wadham, formerly at Puyallup Public Library, WA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Juana loves many things, but learning English is not one of them. In this early chapter book, Medina introduces Juana, a spirited young Colombian girl and her lovable dog, Lucas. Juana prefers playing fútbol outdoors to wearing an itchy uniform and learning English, a language she feels is too clunky and complicated. The reluctant student finally finds some much-needed motivation when her grandfather reminds her of their upcoming trip to Spaceland, in the U.S., where she must speak English if she wishes to talk to her hero, Astroman. Through this strong, adventurous, and smart female protagonist, Medina presents an extraordinary story about the many opportunities learning a new language can bring. Full-color illustrations provide excellent depictions of Juana's life in Bogotá and allow readers to connect with her character and culture. The artwork playfully interacts with the dynamic text, which often arcs across the page, employs large fonts for emphasis, and smoothly incorporates Spanish words. Fans of Judy Moody and Lola Levine will absolutely love Juana. This upbeat new series for young readers is a must-buy.
Word Count: 6,297
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 185159 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q69839
Lexile: 870L
Guided Reading Level: P
Fountas & Pinnell: P

Winner of the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award

Fans of Judy Moody and Clarice Bean will love Juana, the spunky young Colombian girl who stars in this playful, abundantly illustrated new series.


Juana loves many things — drawing, eating Brussels sprouts, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or going to dance class. And she especially does not love learning the English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? But when Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning—one that Juana will need to speak English to go on—Juana begins to wonder whether learning the English might be a good use of her time after all. Hilarious, energetic, and utterly relatable, Juana will win over los corazones — the heartsof readers everywhere in her first adventure, presented by namesake Juana Medina.


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