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An epic road trip to awards

Cover of Mexikid
A review of Mexikid by Pedro Martín

Winner of the 2024 Pura Belpré Author and Illustrator Awards, a 2024 Newbery Honor book, and a 2024 Odyssey Honor Audiobook. Also available in Spanish.

At the end of this book, Pedro Martín has an FAQ section, and the first question he asks and answers is, "What is a Mexikid?" Sadly not Meximan's superhero sidekick, but what he calls himself as a first-generation American-born kid of Mexican parents. Just as his identity spans both sides of the border, so does this graphic novel memoir, telling the story of Pedro's childhood. Specifically, this book tells about the time that the family road-tripped to Jalisco, México to pick up Pedro's grandfather who was coming to live with the family in an already crowded house of two parents and nine kids. (Don't worry - the book opens with a character list, providing names, illustrations, and fun facts about each family member to help you keep track, with real photos in the back matter.)

Pedro is, undeniably, a nerd. He loves Star Wars, comics, and action figures. He is also a storyteller, and throughout the story he learns more details about his grandfather's life as he tries to understand his potential new roommate and connect with him. These details lead to flashbacks and creative stories about his grandfather's past, cleverly illustrated in sepia tones. 

This book is filled with history - about México, music, and pop culture. It is also a book about family, and even though my family looks very different from Pedro's, I related to many of the stories and interactions. This award-winning title is so much fun to read. Highly recommended for anyone who loves graphic novels, memoirs, history, the Spanish language, being a nerd, or really great storytelling. 

Read more about all the 2024 ALA Youth Media Award Winners here.

Feb 27, 2024