Merci returns for another year of challenges and triumphs at home and at Seaward Pines Academy…Merci’s maturity and growth are as engaging and compelling as they were in the author’s Newbery Medal winner, Merci Suárez Changes Gears (2018). The cast is broadly diverse; Merci and her family are Cuban American, Edna is Dominican, and Creole and Cajun Wilson has a physical disability. An uplifting sequel told with heart and humor.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In this sequel to the Newbery-winning Merci Suárez Changes Gears (2018), 12-year-old Merci takes on growing responsibilities both within her family and as a seventh-grader…Filled with the familiar, laugh-out-loud humor from the first title, this sequel will quickly pull readers, both returning and new, into Merci’s world… Fans of Merci will root for her as they are immersed in her vibrant world full of unique characters and heartfelt surprises.
—Booklist (starred review)
Newbery Medalist Medina artfully chronicles another year of highs and lows in the life of Cuban American middle schooler Merci Suárez via this winning sequel to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. . . Medina continues to build on the stellar character work of the first book, balancing laugh-out-loud one-liners (“Buy a Heart Ball ticket if you have absolutely nothing better to do in this sad life”) with vulnerability. . . This is a sequel of the finest quality, perfectly capturing the feelings of awkward first crushes (“Did he say I look nice? Or did he say I look like a rodent? I can’t decide”) and evolving friendships.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
—Horn Book (starred review)
A joyous celebration of family and friendship.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Meg Medina is the author I studied, and still study, to learn how to write for children. Her ear is impeccable; the way she captures not only dialogue but also communicates adolescent feelings without being condescending nor pitching extra soft softballs. Few people get the balance of writing about and for teens right.
—Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author
Now in seventh grade, Merci Suárez finds that a new school year means new responsibilities and challenges. . .The struggles with friendships, responsibility, school, crushes, and jealousy that Merci and her friends face will strike a chord with many readers. . .The plot moves along at a consistent and page-turning pace, and as usual Medina’s characters are excellently written and developed. Medina also touches on racism and how shared cultural heritage can bring people together unexpectedly. . . Fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears will love watching how Merci and those around her grow. This sequel doesn’t disappoint and is an essential purchase for all collections.
—School Library Journal
Merci continues to be a vivid and dimensional character, strong-minded and capable but also believably twelve (her mother asks the inevitable question “What’s wrong with you these days?”) and credibly nervous about moving out of her comfort zone. . . . The book is dedicated to “Merci fans who wanted to know what happened next,” and hopefully there are more volumes of “next” to come for sparky Merci.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
In ‘Merci Suárez Can’t Dance’ (Candlewick, 384 pages, $17.99), life for Merci hasn’t changed much on the outside, but inside things are astir. . . . This novel, like the first, makes a point of modeling a strong and loving family life for readers ages 9-13. People in the Suárez households work hard, help one another and defer gratification.
—The Wall Street Journal
This is a heartwarming book about a beautiful family and a young girl trying to make sense of middle grade.