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Lucía the luchadora
2017
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Author Notes
Cynthia Leonor Garza spent most of her childhood under the hot South Texas sun running around with her three brothers. She's a journalist who has worked for several newspapers and her commentaries have appeared on NPR and in The Atlantic . Of all the lucha libre masks she owns, her favorite one is pink and gold. She currently lives with her two young daughters and husband in Washington, D.C. This is her first picture book. Alyssa Bermudez grew up in New York City, where culture and liveliness fed her imagination. Her illustrations have appeared in animation, and on packaging and textiles. Alyssa, along with her mini Mexican folk art collection and two little dogs, can be found in the beautiful and faraway Tasmania, where she currently resides. LucYa the Luchadora is her debut into the magical world of picture books.
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Trade Reviews

  School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Lucía can zip through the playground and jump off the monkey bars and land on her feet every single time, but the boys ignore her and tell her that girls can't be superheroes. Lucía and her Abu-short for abuela-hatch a plan that will involve learning all about luchadores, the stars of a popular Mexican style of wrestling (lucha libre). By the end of the book, Lucía has learned she must fight for what is right and has become a role model for other girls on the playground. Animated illustrations capture the equally vibrant main character, a brown-skinned girl with flowing long hair. The story, told in Lucía's voice, has plenty of punch and humor and is chock-full of onomatopoeic sounds that just beg to be read aloud. The placement of the text moves along with the action, adding to the tone and breakneck pace of the story. The narrative encourages girls to trust their own strengths yet is never didactic. An author's note at the end explains luchadores and lucha libre. VERDICT A shining debut outing for author and illustrator, this endearing and humorous title is sure to put a bit of KA-POW into storytimes! A must-have.-Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, NJ © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Horn Book Review

Lucas confidence gives her the strength to match any boy superhero on the playground. She boldly tackles the dark, swirly slide and does a flying leap from the top of the monkey bars. But the boys claim that girls cant be superheroes, making her feel spicy mad. Her abuela gives her a special box containing a shiny satin cape and a silver mask. A luchadora, she explains, is a special kind of superhero, one who is brave, full of heart, and isnt afraid to fight for what is right. Most importantly, a luchadora never reveals her true identity. The costume emboldens Luca, and hidden behind the mask, she soars through the playground better than all the other children dressed in superhero capes (including the boys). When, to cheers, she single-handedly rescues a puppy stranded on top of the slide, Lucia realizes the right thing is to reveal her identity to her friends--and to be herself. I am Lucia the Luchadora, mask or no mask. Energetic watercolors illuminate a diverse crowd of children playing together, led by a strong personality who is unabashedly proud to be a girl and approaches life with unwavering dynamism. An authors note gives further information about luchadoras, luchadores, and lucha libre, including the fact that many luchadores expanded their roles as masked wrestlers to become social justice activists. rita sultan (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

Who says girls can't be superheroes?Wearing her long red cape, Luca goes POW and BAM better than the rest. The brown-skinned Latina's a daredevil on the playground, leaping from the top of the monkey bars and conquering that dreaded dark, swirly slide. But: "Girls can't be superheroes," say the boys that refuse to play with her. Luca doesn't give in to their taunts. "I feel mad. Spicy mad. KA-POW kind of mad!" Garza shines in her children's debut. The text bursts with infectious energy and Luca's endearing personality. When her abuela reveals a luchadora past, Luca discovers a new outlet for her superhero aspirations. In a flashy white cape and fearsome silver mask, the budding luchadora makes her debut on the playground, introducing a lucha libre frenzy among her peers. Soon, masked faces are everywhere. But when a boy teases a fellow luchadora, Luca faces her first real challenge as a lucha libre superhero. Can she stand up for what is right like a true luchadora? A madcap pace keeps the story moving along with humor, heart, and bravado in equal measures. Likewise, Bermudez's colorful, buoyant illustrations radiate pure joy. Nifty text placement, variations in type color, and use of sound effects add to this delightful package, making it a joy for readers to root for this plucky young girl. A KA-POW kind of wonderful. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
Lucia zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when they tell her 'girls can't be superheroes', suddenly she doesn't feel so mighty. That's when her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucia comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition. But when she's confronted with a case of injustice, Lucia must decide if she can stay true to the ways of the luchadora and fight for what is right, even if it means breaking the sacred rule of never revealing the identity behind her mask.
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