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Once Upon a Quinceanera

Coming of Age in the USA
Narrated by: Daphne Rubin-Vega
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
3 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The quinceañera, the 15th birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The must haves for a "quince" are becoming as numerous and costly as a prom or wedding. And yet, this elaborate ritual also hearkens back to traditions from native countries and communities, offering young Latinas a chance to connect with their heritage.

In Once Upon a Quinceañera, Julia Alvarez explores this celebration that brings a Latina girl into womanhood. She attends the quince of a young woman named "Monica" who lives in Queens, and witnesses the commotion, confusion, and potential for disaster that comes with planning this important event. Alvarez also weaves in interviews with other quince girls, her own memories of coming of age as an immigrant, and the history of the custom itself: how it originated and what has changed as Latinas become accustomed to a supersize American culture.

Once Upon a Quinceañera is an enlightening, accessible, and entertaining portrait of contemporary Latino culture, as well as a critical look at the rituals of coming of age and the economic and social consequences of the quince parties. Julia Alvarez's dedicated fans will be eager to hear her thoughts on this topic. It is a great book for anyone interested in American youth today: parents, teachers, and teenagers themselves.

©2007 Julie Alvarez (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Skillfully blending memoir and social science, Alvarez...explores the quinceañera, the coming-of-age ceremony for Latinas turning 15." ( Publishers Weekly)

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not a story

This is more of an instructional essay on what a Quinceañera is and the history of it. I guess it would be helpful for someone who is married to a Hispanic and trying to learn about the culture. But it's not a story.

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Every girl should read this book!

Alvarez did really a great job addressing cultural myths of gender role which we women are being forced to follow consciously and unconsciously, by families; I am Middle Eastern and I can relate to this wonderful book a lot, and I love that she wrote about her own coming- of- age and her struggles as she faced. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who raising a girl.

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Quinceaera

Did not like this book at all. Very outdated . First book by y his Auth o r I dislike

0 of 1 people found this review helpful