Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
Scholastic has bought Angela Cervantes's middle grade mystery, Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, about a girl who accompanies her professor mother on a research fellowship to her father's birth country of Mexico, only to become entangled in a mystery involving an artifact once owned by Frida Kahlo. Publication is slated for spring 2018.

Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring Details

TitleMe, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2018
PublisherScholastic
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Mystery, Young Adult

Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring Review

  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 for this one, a delightful page-turner for middle graders. Although twelve-year-old Paloma Marquez is not particularly thrilled with having to spend part of her summer in Coyoacan, Mexico, while her mother is there on a fellowship, she does value the chance to get in touch with her deceased father's homeland, language and culture. To her surprise, she even becomes fascinated by artist Frida Kahlo when the son of her mother's benefactor, Tavo Faril, introduces Paloma to the artist's work and 3.5 for this one, a delightful page-turner for middle graders. Although twelve-year-old Paloma Marquez is not particularly thrilled with having to spend part of her summer in Coyoacan, Mexico, while her mother is there on a fellowship, she does value the chance to get in touch with her deceased father's homeland, language and culture. To her surprise, she even becomes fascinated by artist Frida Kahlo when the son of her mother's benefactor, Tavo Faril, introduces Paloma to the artist's work and shares some of her back story. Paloma enjoys spending time with Tavo, but she is also caught up in a mystery at the behest of Gael and Lizzie Castillo who offer to tutor her in Spanish. However, there is more to the siblings than meets the eye, and they ask for Paloma's help in finding a missing peacock ring belonging to the artist. While the mystery itself is fun and its unraveling takes some sophistication on the part of all the involved parties, what really stands out here is the fascinating details about Kahlo and the museum dedicated to her. It probably won't take too much work on the part of observant readers to figure out what's going on, but I was curious that there was no mention of the corrupt Mexican law enforcement officials, something I often hear discussed by others. I really enjoyed how this bored, sullen girl comes alive and is excited to try new things and embrace a new world. I also liked the author's little touches such as how Paloma is inspired by her favorite spy series featuring a girl protagonist and how she takes notes on clues as well as on important memories of her father as shared by her mother. The Author's Note, which shares Angela Cervantes' own interest in Frida Kahlo and describes the inspiration for the story, is a nice addition. The author continues to impress this reader with her sure-handed handling of all sorts of stories and some complicated characters.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. An exciting middle grade mystery also filled with lots to learn about Frida Kahlo, but in a way that feels fun and not just rattling-off information. Wonderful upcoming diverse book that I highly recommend for readers both young and old to get lost in case of Frida's missing peacock ring!
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusPaloma Marquez has to spend the summer in Mexico City with her mother, who has gotten a fellowship to study there. Paloma would rather be back home with her friends in Kansas, but she is somewhat interested to be living just a few streets away from the home of her deceased father's favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. She misses her father, and is sad she has so few memories of him, so finds the exhibits about Kahlo interesting. She meets several children her own age rig E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusPaloma Marquez has to spend the summer in Mexico City with her mother, who has gotten a fellowship to study there. Paloma would rather be back home with her friends in Kansas, but she is somewhat interested to be living just a few streets away from the home of her deceased father's favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. She misses her father, and is sad she has so few memories of him, so finds the exhibits about Kahlo interesting. She meets several children her own age right away, at a party at the Kahlo house. Tavo is the son of the couple who have funded her mother's summer, and twins Gael and Lizzie are supposed to help tutor her in Spanish. The twins have another motive, however-- they want Paloma's help in finding a peacock ring that was lost after a sealed, secret room in the house was opened. Paloma is a big fan of the Lulu Pennywhistle mysteries, so knows all of the ins and outs of investigating. Sure, the three get in trouble for sneaking out at night, but this doesn't stop them from uncovering a fairly dastardly plot. The twins' father has been jailed as a suspect in the disappearance of the ring, but Tavo's father may know more about it than he lets on. Will Paloma be able to figure out what happened... and survive her summer?Strengths: First, the cover is fantastic! I'm not sure how many students know about Kahlo, but the Mexico City setting is great fun. The mystery of the ring would normally not be exciting to my readers, who want murder and gore, but there is enough of a conspiracy that I can talk them into this one. I liked the notes from the author about the real events of Kahlo's life, and why she chose to write this book. Just the ordinary details of traveling to another country, having to learn a new language, etc. are great. Another very solid title from this author. (Allie, First and Last, Gaby, Lost and Found.)Weaknesses: Could have done without Paloma's father being dead. She could have just missed him over the summer. What I really think: Definitely purchasing.
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  • Jez
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable mystery which brings some of the Mexican culture and the art of Frida Kahlo to life. In this story Paloma is visiting her deceased father's birthplace for the first time and while there learns more about her father through memories, discovers the great art of Frida Kahlo, and makes new friends as she really learns what it means to belong. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout. It would be helpful to have pronunciation guide included in the book. Bonus for me that the cover was by an i Enjoyable mystery which brings some of the Mexican culture and the art of Frida Kahlo to life. In this story Paloma is visiting her deceased father's birthplace for the first time and while there learns more about her father through memories, discovers the great art of Frida Kahlo, and makes new friends as she really learns what it means to belong. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout. It would be helpful to have pronunciation guide included in the book. Bonus for me that the cover was by an illustrator I admire and had the good fortune of meeting a few years ago. Recommended for grades 4-7. Title is scheduled for release in March 2018. Based on Advanced Readers' Copy.
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  • Librarian Lynne
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed this middle grade mystery. So happy to find a story with central characters who are smart, fun, interested in and involved with education & art AND Hispanic demonstrating that the Mexican culture is just as diverse and fabulous as any other. Loved the Frida Kahlo information sprinkled throughout.
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