My 2nd grade students had the privilege of a video author visit with Keka Novales , the author of the ¡Hola, Lola! chapter book series. It was such a joy to hear about her mission to capture her family's Guatemalan culture for her own children.

I have not yet read most of the books, but I really enjoyed Guatemalan Summer, as it brought back many memories from my own time spent in Guatemala.


Guatemalan Summer is the story of a girl named Lola who travels from the US to Guatemala to visit her relatives. Lola has grown up proud of her Guatemalan roots, but she is more comfortable speaking English. When she arrives at her abuelitos' house, her cousin Luis makes fun of her accent and the problems she has rolling her r's. She also finds herself comparing life in Guatemala to her life back home. (I found this all very relatable.)

As the week goes on, Lola visits the market, goes to a party, and travels to Antigua and Lake Atítlan. She begins to become more confident with her Spanish, and grows closer to her family, including Luis.

I loved this book on so many levels. As the parent of bicultural children, I could connect with returning to a country and feeling "not enough" to fit in. I loved the way the author wove in Spanish words so that readers can understand them in context and even learn some Spanish themselves. The descriptions of foods had my mouth watering. 

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