Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Martin, Pedro. Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir
August 1, 2023 by Dial Books
ARC provided by Follett First Look

In the 1970s, Pedro is growing up with eight brothers and sisters. There are five older siblings that were born in Mexico, and four younger ones born in the US, and they rib each other about the differences. When their abuelo, who was part of the Mexican Revolution (which started in 1910), is unable to take care of himself, the family travels to Mexico to bring him back with them to their already too small home. The five older siblings drive in a truck, and Pedro and the rest of his family travel in an RV. Pedro has planned his trip well, taking cassette tapes, snacks, and fun action figure toys. His mother has stocked up on supplies for family in Mexico, like underwear and food, but when the family tries to cross the border, many of the items are confiscated by the guards. Pedro is devastated that the only tape they have left is The Music Man, but he is able to stock up on unusual Mexican snacks and off-brand toys. He does learn more about his grandfather; scenes of his storied past are shown in Ben-Day dot illustrated panels with a retro look to them. His grandfather needs time to organize his animals, and the family also must retrieve the bones of the grandmother from a cemetary that is flooding. This gives Pedro more than enough time to get an ill-considered haircut, hang out with cousins, and explore his and culture. The group eventually returns to the US safely. This ends with family photographs of the family and gradnfather, who lived to be 107!
Strengths: This had a lot of fun 1970s references (The Fonz!), and Pedro's older brothers and sisters looked like my cousins who were in high school at that time! The travel trailer also brought back some memories, although the one my parents borrowed was towed behind a car. The story of the grandfather is interesting (he was a year older than my grandmother!), and now I need to read up on the Mexican Revolution. There's plenty of adventure and humor in this 1970s family story. 
Weaknesses: This was definitely on the long side; an author's note said it started out as a 600 page book! There's a lot of information packed into this, and almost seemed like more of a Young Adult book because of it's philosophical nature, although it is solidly middle grade. 
What I really think: This is a good choice for readers who enjoy the vast number of middle grade graphic novel memoirs like Mercado's Chunky, Harper's Bad Sister, Santat's A First Time for Everything, or my favorite, Tatulli's Short and Skinny

Ms. Yingling

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