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Eleven-year old Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico City will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together. On her first day in Mexico City, Paloma meets two kids, Lizzie and Gael Castillo, who present her with an irresistible challenge. The siblings want her to help them find a valuable peacock ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist, Frida Kahlo! But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely?
“A perfect introduction to the mystery genre, with Cervantes deftly fitting pieces of the puzzle together to move the story along without divulging too much.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A well-paced mystery plot and a rich exploration of the art of Frida Kahlo.”
—School Library Journal
“A fun read for any sleuths-in-training.”
“Cervantes parallels Paloma’s cultural development with the mystery plot, fittingly, since her own identity requires piecing together memories her mother shares of her father, and jotting them down on notecards. It is through Frida, though, that Paloma begins to explore her Mexican side independently. She connects with the icon’s life and art, including her mixed heritage and penchant for self-portraits (likened to selfies in the text). Her exposure to Mexico also serves as exposure for some readers, who may have little to no familiarity with the nation.”
—Latinx in KidLit
State Children’s Awards List
Oregon Battle of the Books List
Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award
Texas Bluebonnet Master List
Missouri Mark Twain Reader’s Award List
Tennessee Volunteer Book Award List
Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers List
Nevada Young Reader’s Award List
Angela Cervantes answers questions about Me, Frida and The Secret of the Peacock Ring: