cover image Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa

Micol Ostow. Razorbill, $16.99 (200pp) ISBN 978-1-59514-081-4

Emily Goldberg lives in New York and has always been under the impression that it was her mother who chose to distance herself from her large family in Puerto Rico. Not until Emily's grandmother Rosa dies, and Emily accompanies her mother back to her homeland, does Emily learn the truth. The family plans on staying in Puerto Rico just for the weekend but when it becomes obvious that her mother needs more time to mend, Emily agrees to stay, thus forfeiting her summer plans of a road trip with her two best friends. Emily, who narrates, finds herself unprepared for the cultural differences and her cousins' attitude towards her, but over time she learns to abide Tía Rosa's strict rules. Ostow's (Westminster Abby) story may be light-hearted, but she delves deeply into the feelings of the heroine and this newfound extended family. When Emily suspects that Lucy may be pregnant, Emily knows that her own mother is the only person they can turn to for help. In seeking her advice, Emily finally learns the real reason there has been no contact with their relatives all these years. And the two cousins realize they have more commonalities than differences. Ages 12-up.