Monday, March 26, 2018

Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring

35849452Cervantes, Angela. Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
March 27th 2018 by Scholastic Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Paloma Marquez has to spend the summer in Mexico City with her mother, who has gotten a fellowship to study there. Paloma would rather be back home with her friends in Kansas, but she is somewhat interested to be living just a few streets away from the home of her deceased father's favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. She misses her father, and is sad she has so few memories of him, so finds the exhibits about Kahlo interesting. She meets several children her own age right away, at a party at the Kahlo house. Tavo is the son of the couple who have funded her mother's summer, and twins Gael and Lizzie are supposed to help tutor her in Spanish. The twins have another motive, however-- they want Paloma's help in finding a peacock ring that was lost after a sealed, secret room in the house was opened. Paloma is a big fan of the Lulu Pennywhistle mysteries, so knows all of the ins and outs of investigating. Sure, the three get in trouble for sneaking out at night, but this doesn't stop them from uncovering a fairly dastardly plot. The twins' father has been jailed as a suspect in the disappearance of the ring, but Tavo's father may know more about it than he lets on. Will Paloma be able to figure out what happened... and survive her summer?
Strengths: First, the cover is fantastic! I'm not sure how many students know about Kahlo, but the Mexico City setting is great fun. The mystery of the ring would normally not be exciting to my readers, who want murder and gore, but there is enough of a conspiracy that I can talk them into this one. I liked the notes from the author about the real events of Kahlo's life, and why she chose to write this book. Just the ordinary details of traveling to another country, having to learn a new language, etc. are great. Another very solid title from this author. (Allie, First and Last, Gaby, Lost and Found.)
Weaknesses: Could have done without Paloma's father being dead. She could have just missed him over the summer.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing.
Ms. Yingling


  1. I bought this book for my nieces, and they love it.

  2. The synopsis for this reminds me of the Blue Balliett books about Calder, Wright and Vermeer, which integrate info about the artist with a puzzle the reader solves along with the characters. I enjoyed those even though they were quite contrived; I think because the author's love of each artist comes through strongly. I think I would enjoy the Mexico City setting of this one and I would definitely like to know more about Frida Kahlo. Also the cover is gorgeous.