Olor a Perfume de Viejita



By: Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
A classic barrio growing-up story, now available in Spanish. Chela faces the challenges of sixth grade after losing her father, her very best friend.
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A classic barrio growing-up story, now available in Spanish. Chela faces the challenges of sixth grade after losing her father, her very best friend.

La novela para jovenes de Claudia Martínez es una historia agridulce sobre la muerte, familia, y la resistencia de la fuerza emocional del corazón. Chela Gonzalez, la narradora del libro, es una nerd y futbolista que apenas puede contener su emoción de empezar el sexto grado. Pero nada es como se lo había imaginado —su mejor amiga la deja para juntarse con las niñas populares y ellas todas hacen como si no existe Chela. Ella se enfoca en tarea y el consuelo de su familia. Para Chela, su familia es como el sistema solar, con su papá el sol y su mamá, hermanos, y hermana como planetas rodeando alrededor de el. Es el único universo en el que ella encaja.

Pero ese universo es amenazado cuando su papá sufré de un derrame cerebral. La abuela de Chela se viene a vivir con ellos para ayudarles. El olor a perfume de viejita invade la casa. El olor es peor que los domingos. Los domingos eran tristes, pero siempre pasaban, la muerte es otra cosa completa. Chela no entiende es lo que todos están esperando. Entre su tristeza y preocupación, Chela empieza a descubrirse a si misma, y encuentra su propia fuerza.

Claudia Martinez's novel for young adults is a bittersweet story about death, family and the resilient emotional strength of the human heart. Chela Gonzalez, the book’s narrator, is a nerd and a soccer player who can barely contain her excitement about starting the sixth grade. But nothing is as she imagined—her best friend turns on her to join the popular girls and they all act like Chela doesn’t exist. She buries herself in schoolwork and in the warm comfort of her family. To Chela, her family is like a solar system, with her father the sun and her mother, brothers and sister like planets rotating all around him. It’s the only universe in which she fits in.

But that universe is threatened when her strong father has a stroke. Chela’s grandmother moves in to help the family. The smell of her old lady perfume invades the house. That smell is worse than Sundays. Sundays were sad, but they went just as sure as they came, but death was a whole other thing, and Chela doesn’t understand that’s what everyone is waiting for. In her grief and worry, Chela begins to discover herself and find her own strength.

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