Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez - Book Review

Apolonia (Lina) Flores lives in Corpus Christi, Texas with her father. She has a best friend and a would-be boyfriend. She enjoys science, playing volleyball on her middle school team and collecting socks. She’s also Mexican–American, has recently suffered the loss of her mother and grown frustrated with her widowed father who has literally, and metaphorically, buried himself in books.

Navigating the wearisome waters of change alongside Lima is her best friend Vanessa, whose recently divorced mother has developed her own coping mechanism – making confetti filled eggs called cascarones. Lima’s boyfriend isn’t immune to difficulty either. He must deal with a speech impediment and the taunting that accompanies it. Confetti Girl features characters who are all dealing with life’s struggles.

But hidden within the individual problems of the characters lies a positive message. A story filled with as much heartache as Confetti Girl might easily venture into the melancholy. It never does. Confetti Girl is a story of happiness. Happiness after losing a loved one. Happiness after divorce. Happiness for friendship and love. Ever so quietly, author Diana Lopez, fills the story with significant moments of authenticity.

These moments are hammered out through plot devices that meld seamlessly within the telling. Lima use the keen dichos her mother has taught her to navigate the difficult as the author uses them to highlight chapter themes. Lima ends up writing her own reflective life’s synopsis when she’s supposed to be writing a synopsis of Watership Down for the English class she’s failing. But the most significant device is the cascarones – confetti filled eggs bearing good luck wishes. The fragility of the egg mixed with the flamboyancy of the confetti makes for a superb and poignant addition.

The author’s style is light and often humorous. She writes the best sort of multicultural story: an authentic one. Confetti Girl is the tale of family that happens to be Mexican-American. It never ventures into stereotypical or seems culturally didactic. This gives added meaning for both Latino readers, who might find added elements with which to identify, and Non-Latino readers, who might learn something new or find something in common with Lima and her family.

The ending scene, where a celebration in confetti filled cascarones ensues, is priceless and provides a perfect ending to an uplifting tale of overcoming the fragile parts of life with confetti joy.

Recommended for 5th - 8th grade girls who enjoy multicultural tales, realistic fiction about overcoming adversity or stories about friendship and family.

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Genre: Realistic Fiction. Age: 9-12. Pages: 208.

Themes: Friendship, Family, Overcoming Adversity, Multicultural
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers. Date: June 2009. ISBN-10: 0316029556 / ISBN-13: 978-0316029551

Buy Confetti Girl Here

A list of teaching ideas can be found here.

Diana Lopez began her love of reading with Mother Goose and fell in love with writing through The Diary of Anne Frank. She collects refrigerator magnets and sometimes wears crazy socks. You can read more about her on her website. She is available for school visits.

© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for