Enjoy carnival rides and deep fried pickles in this warm, funny middle-grade novel about family and friendship.
Miranda is the lead singer in her family's musical band, Miranda y Los Reyes. Her family has worked hard performing at festivals and quinceañeras. Now, they have a shot at the main stage. How will Miranda make it a performance to remember?
Flor's family runs the petting zoo at Mr. Barsetti's carnival. When she accidentally overhears Mr. Barsetti and Miranda's dad talk about cutting the zoo to accommodate Miranda y Los Reyes's main stage salary, she knows she has to take action. Will she have the heart for sabotage once she and Miranda actually start to become friends?
Eleven-year-olds Flor and Miranda both help out with their families' acts at a traveling carnival: Miranda sings in a ranchera band with her siblings, and Flor helps out in her own family's petting zoo. But while Miranda's star is on the rise (the band has just been given an opportunity to perform at the center stage), interest in the petting zoo is dwindling. In fact, Flor overhears Miranda's father ask for a raise, and when he's told that another act would need to be cut to cover the cost, he suggests axing the petting zoo. This triggers the novel's daylong adventure, during which Flor, playing tour guide, tries to prevent Miranda from performing in order to blow the band's shot at center stage. Meanwhile, Miranda grapples with her desire to sing a song that she, not her dad, has chosen. From the fried-pickle stand to the Cloud Chaser swing ride, the spot-on details in this lively, fast-paced adventure help bring readers into the intriguing life of carnival workers, as well as the struggles both girls face living on the road. Lessons about friendship and standing up for oneself are organically woven into this entertaining romp. Ages 8 12.