In his debut memoir, Mexikid, author Pedro Martin relates a pivotal experience of his childhood. Pedro Martin and his family of 11 (NINE kids!) decide to drive from the US to Mexico to pick up his aging Abuelo and bring him to the US with them. Along the way, they encounter corrupt border patrol officers, diarrhea-inducing milk, bad haircuts, stories of his Abuelo’s past, and plenty of family.
I loved the idea of this book and the illustrations throughout. The entire book reads like a travel diary with plenty of diversions — you never know what each chapter will bring. The inclusion of Spanish words and touches of Mexican history among the funny hijinks of Pedro and his siblings make this book very accessible for younger readers.
There’s a lot happening in this story as Pedro and his family travel to Mexico and back to the US. Pedro learns a lot about his Abuelo, who played an important role during the Mexican Revolution. Pedro’s older siblings are Mexican-born and there are some comparisons about how this affects them and the differences between them and their younger American-born siblings.
Because the story is set in the 1970s, there’s a bit of information about what life was like at the time. For example, Pedro and his younger brothers record the audio from their favorite US TV show on a tape recorder to listen to throughout the trip.
My only quibble, which is totally personal, is that this felt too long for me. I also got bored frequently, especially in the flashback areas about Pedro’s grandfather. The storytelling felt too meandering for my brain—I’d have rather just gone on the road trip and back without all the side commentary
Mexikid is a lively, funny, and transporting middle grade graphic novel about family, Mexican history, and a life-changing family road trip. Despite my reservations, I think kids who love funny, notebook-style graphic novels will love this one. The audiobook is full-cast and highly engaging. If you enjoy hilarious stories about big families and road trips, this is worth a shot.
Here are some specifics to know about the content.
- Death: Pedro’s grandmother’s corpse is exhumed and re-buried (I know — but it’s not an upsetting scene, just chaotically funny)
- Alcohol/substance use: Some adults drink and get intoxicated while celebrating with friends
- Ethnic: Most of the characters are Latin American
- Sexual orientation: All straight characters
Recommended for ages: 10+
Good for kids who like:
“Mexikid is a great story about a big family! I would recommend this story for anyone who likes to laugh! It is action packed and full of adventurous stories!”— rylee c, age 12
“Mexikid is a story about a boy named Peter who goes to Mexico to reunite with his Abuelito (grandpa). I thought the book was good, although it strayed away from the story of reuniting family. I rate it 4 out 5 becuase it was funny (especially if you like gross humor).”— London s., age 11
|Publisher details||Dial Press|
|Publication date:||August 1, 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:|
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