Nancy Johnson recommended this book during our Chapter & Verse Book Club meeting with that compelling look she has that says, “Read this!” I did, Nancy, and I’m really glad I did.

It’s also a graphic novel, which my long-time readers know is a favorite storytelling format of mine.

I wasn’t prepared for how blown-away I would be by this book. It has everything:

A large, loving family (9 kids) and sibling bickering and travel for a long way by RV and a grandparent and adventure and spine-tingling thrills and a heartwarming story of loss and lots and lots of funny stuff. This is a lot for young Pedro but he grows from his experiences.

In keeping with my apparent theme of the year, it even has gross stuff. My husband, however, assures me if I had been raised around boys, I wouldn’t find these parts gross. Maybe.

illustration from Mexikid of the Winnebago Chieftain
illustration © Pedro Martin from Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir, Dial Books, 2023

The illustrations have everything I love: definite, engaging colors, easy-to-read dialogue, an intuitive flow from panel to panel, and DIAGRAMS. With labels. Oh, I love diagrams. And there are MAPS. These make my organizational heart and mind sing.

Most of all, this is a good story, based on the author/illustrator’s real-life experiences. This family travels from their home in California to the parents’ hometown in Mexico to bring their abuelito (grandfather) to live with them. The trip opens Pedro’s eyes to so many things that the reader can’t help being affected, too.

I recommend this book to any reader age 10 and up but, honestly, take that “up” part seriously. I think it’s a story many, many readers of all ages will love.

Pedro Martin
Dial Books, 2023
Suggested for ages 10 and up
ISBN 978-0593462287 (hc)
Available in both Spanish and English

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