Because my father died before I was born, and my mother didn’t talk about him much, I would spin up endless stories for myself about who he was, what he was like, and I even wondered if he had just driven off and wasn’t really dead.

Tumble by Celia C. Pérez awakened memories of those conversations with myself. As I grew older and my mother was better able to cope with her grief, I learned more about my father, but my curiosity was endless. I found Adela’s search for her mysterious father resonant and fascinating.

Adela’s in the midst of a loving family. Her stepfather Alex wants to adopt her but the law in New Mexico is that the birth father must give up parental rights before that can happen. This bothers Addie a great deal. She feels compelled to find her father, to let him know her before he makes that decision.

It’s a challenging search for Addie, but she learns that her father is part of a famous luchador family. Those of us in the northern climes may not be familiar with this Mexican freestyle wrestling form, lucha libre, but it is much beloved in Mexico and the US border states.

Luchadores wear colorful masks, which is fitting for this story, because so much is hidden from Addie.

Why has her mother not told Addie about her father? Why has her father’s family not sought her out?

This is a page-turner. Pérez keeps things lively. There are a plethora of unexpected story developments. We come to care deeply for the characters, none of whom are stock in any way. Even if you are not a fan of wrestling, there is so much charisma in her writing that you’ll become a fan.

Highly recommended.

written by Celia C. Pérez
Kokila, 2022
Suggested for ages 10 and up
ISBN 978-0-5933-2517-9

4 thoughts on “Tumble”

  1. Vicki, your intro sounds like the beginning of a novel!! And the books sounds fascinating. Thanks, as always, for your insightful reviews.


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