Monday, February 25, 2019

MMGM- Lety Out Loud

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Cervantes, Angela. Lety Out Loud
February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Lety is very excited to be doing a summer camp at the local animal shelter. A group of students from her school are learning about working with the animals and are assigned various jobs. Lety signs up to write animal profiles, but is self-conscious about her English language skills, since her family has recently come from Mexico and she is still in the ELL unit at her school, along with her friend Brisa, whose family has come from Bolivia. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of Gaby, from Gaby, Lost and Found. Hunter, a grumpy classmate, also wants to be the profile writer, and challenges Lety to a competition. Whoever writes five profiles and has the most pets adopted gets to be the writer, and the loser has to work the stinky pet food repackaging job. To make things even harder, each writer has to work in really hard words, like cerise and supersonic, into the profiles! Lety hopes to win, and is also very interested in one of the dogs, Spike, who has a problem with acting wild at his new homes and getting returned to the shelter. At first, Hunter is just a pain, but as she gets to know him, she finds out that his father has left his family, they've moved in with a grandmother, and the father has given Hunter's dog, Gunner, away to an uncle. There is a dog that looks a lot like Gunner, and he is sad when that dog is adopted. When Lety and Brisa and her pregnant mother are accosted at a local pharmacy and told they should only speak English because "they are in America", Brisa drops out of the program and returns to the school ELL program where Lety's younger brother Eddie is spending his summer. Lety misses her friend, so talks to the director and starts a program where the ELL students can read to shelter dogs. This gets the attention of the local news. Lety also asks for help in locating Hunter's dog. By the end of the summer, the ELL students have been more welcomed by the rest of the school population, and Lety is glad to have helped a lot of animals find homes.
Strengths: There are not too many books that address the concerns that ELL students have. This did a particularly good job. It was also nice to see that while Lety's family struggled a bit, Brisa's family was well to do. Realizing that Hunter was grumpy because of something that had happened in his life was also a good thing for students to read. As in Sonnenblick's The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade, it's good for students to realize that they should"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Weaknesses: It's sad to see that the ELL students are not more integrated into school life. Perhaps this is more the case in elementary schools-- our ELL students are in mainstream classes most of the time and meet with an ELL teacher for support. Also, Kansas City news must be really slow if so many news programs feature this animal shelter!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. This author's book circulate really well in my library, since they have a great combination of students struggling to fit in and animal welfare projects!


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. If it was a small town, I could understand the shelter getting in the news. Our small town doesn't even have a TV station, but just about anything can get into our newspaper (which is good).

  2. Thanks for the review. This sounds like a sweet story.