Filled with themes like the loss of a loved one, finding ways to preserve memories and traditions, dealing with attraction to a crush, and protecting the community from unwelcome changes, this is a story that has plenty of food for thought. There is also plenty of humor; things like his friend Bren trying to imitate his favorite rapper, his aunt Tuti's hysterical outbursts, and his disappointment at being named "junior lunchtime dishwasher" when he has hoped for a more glamorous job, all add the kind of laughs that occur in everyday life. The inclusion of Spanish phrases, descriptions of the foods served in the restaurant, and references to the Cuban poet Jose Marti immerse readers in the culture of Arturo's family and community, as well as giving a little background about the situation in Cuba that prompted his grandparents to come to America.
Middle grade readers and teachers will have a wonderful time following along as Arturo retells some of the most interesting weeks of his life (so far). As intriguing as a summer with Grandma Dowdell in A Year Down Yonder, I highly recommend it.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.