Reviews for Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel
Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
L├│pez (Confetti Girl, 2009) creates another likable character in Erica "Chia" Montenegro, whose comfortable middle-class life is flipped in an instant when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of being able to concentrate on cute boys, her friendly clique (the Robins), and the usual middle-school concerns, Chia is thrust into the role of caregiver to her two-year-old brother and feels additional responsibilities at home, where her younger sister also worries about their mother's prognosis. When the family visits a cuarto de milagros to pray for help, Chia decides to make a big promesa: surely 500 sponsors for a 5K walk to fight cancer would help heal her mother. Chia's struggle to keep up with friends, housework, and schoolwork is painfully realistic yet tempered with light touches of humor. The many characters in Chia's life are individually and lovingly drawn; more than just props in Chia's story, they have concerns, hopes, and dreams of their own. Readers will feel like Chia's family and friends could do anything as long as they stick together--and they may be right. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
As if middle school weren't hard enough, thirteen-year-old Erica's mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. "Chia" is too busy worrying about her mom to have fun with her friends, who don't really understand her predicament anyway. Then Chia makes a promesa to God to help sponsor a fundraiser; the goal brings together all the facets of her life in a humorous, touching way.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
A funny and heartfelt story about a girl dealing with the trials of middle school and her mother's breast cancer. Until the summer before eighth grade, 13-year-old Erica "Chia" Montenegro has only had to worry about her ever-expanding Chia Pet collection, her annoying siblings and "close encounters" with the boys on her Boyfriend Wish List. When her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Erica's world is turned upside down. Readers feel the weight of the worry and stress overwhelming Erica as she narrates her struggle to balance a heavier academic load, increased household chores and caring for her 2-year-old brother so that her mother, exhausted from chemotherapy treatments, can rest. It only makes things worse that her mood ring seems to better understand her feelings than the Robins, her nosy group of friends. When Erica makes a promesa, committing to get 500 sponsors for her Race for the Cure walk, she finds it's not an easy promise to keep, and she'll need to be strong in order to help herself and her family make it through this challenging time. Balancing the heavy subject matter with generous doses of humor and an authentic young teen voice, Lˇpez crafts a story that blends family and middle school drama successfully. (Fiction. 11-14) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2014 March/April
Rather than just a lighthearted preteen read, there is much substance and a powerful story here. Soon-to-be-eighth-grader Erica Montenegro and her family are shocked by her mother's breast cancer diagnosis. Erica makes a promise at a shrine to participate in a 5K race for cancer awareness. Erica's friends' reactions are very realistic-sometimes they are caring and other times they find it hard to understand why Erica seems depressed and distracted. Although Erica sometimes thinks her pledge to get 500 sponsors for the race is an impossible task, friends and neighbors come through. Characters display a wide variety of coping mechanisms and interactions, showing the toll cancer can take. A school counseling session allows for much needed communication. At the story's end, readers know that when Erica finishes the 5K she has accomplished even more on the inside. Michelle Glatt, Librarian, Chiddix Junior High School, Normal, Illinois [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format and paperba k.] Recommended Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #2
Chia Montenegro is the kind of girl who describes conversations with boys as "close encounters of the third kind" and favors T-shirts with slogans like, "I'm right 97% of the time. Who cares about the other 4%?" In other words, she's an entirely disarming and sympathetic narrator. Over the summer, Chia's mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, which spurs worries and changes throughout their family. Chia's younger sister begins to compulsively count and clean, her father starts losing his temper, and 13-year-old Chia feels the weight of caring for her high-maintenance two-year-old brother and trying to stay supportive. After visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in southern Texas, Chia dedicates herself to a promesa, vowing to secure 500 sponsors for a Walk for the Cure in exchange (she hopes) for her mother's recovery. L├│pez (Choke) skillfully balances emotional moments with humorous ones, offering an honest portrait of a family under strain. Chia's clever, cheeky voice and a strong cast contribute to an inspiring story about developing "a special kind of bravery." Ages 8-12. Agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 November
Gr 6-8--Can a mood ring determine what you are really feeling? Erica Montenegro not only believes it can, but she also relies on it to help express her emotions. She thinks about boys, fights with her little sister, and hangs out with her friends. All that changes, however, when her mother comes home with nine bikinis, one for each day before her mastectomy. Suddenly, Chia's whole world is thrown off-kilter. As she tries to cope and understand her mother's situation, the family takes a trip to a special church to offer a promesa, a promise to God, in exchange for her mother's health. What promise is big enough to save her mother's life? And what if she can't fulfill it while she tries to juggle school and the extra demands of her family? Chia's voice shines with the insecurities and struggles of middle-school students. L├│pez takes a family with a Hispanic heritage and makes them accessible by keeping them steeped in authenticity. The characters' beliefs drive the story, but are never overwhelming. Family and friends are also diverse and genuine, even the frustrating ones. The relationships are easily believed, and the cancer scare is plausible and relatable to many students today. A fast-moving, absorbing read about how one person's illness can affect the whole family in many different ways.--Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL [Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.