Wednesday, September 12, 2012

REFORMA Review: Rogelia's House of Magic

Rogelia’s House of Magic. 
By Jamie Martinez Wood.
Delacorte Press/Random House, 2008. 300 pages. $15.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-385-73477-6.
Grades 6-9. 
English with some Spanish.

Marina and Fern are two friends who couldn’t be more different. While the first can not speak Spanish and fails to embrace her heritage, the latter celebrates her Mexican heritage with gusto and pushes her friend to follow step. The two teenage Latinas’ lives are turned upside down when Marina’s new housekeeper Rogelia moves in with her granddaughter Xochitl. Rogelia is a cuandera who agrees to teach the girls magic while showing them how to be healers. Xochitl is an apprentice curandera but has lost faith in her abuela’s power since her grandmother failed to save her twin sister after a fatal accident. However, it is Xochitl that has to eventually band with Marina and Fern to use their magic and save Rogelia’s life. Filled with crushes, teenage drama, and magic, this quick read will introduce many teens to certain aspects of Mexican culture such as curanderas. Although the novel is clichéd at times, it does an adequate job depicting the power of teenage female friendships in much the same way as works such as Brashares’ The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Recommended as a secondary purchase. 

Naidoo, J. C. (2009). Rogelia’s House of Magic. Written by Jamie Martinez Wood. REFORMA Newsletter, 27 (1/2), 25.

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