Summary: The Fresh New Face of Griselda
Jennifer Torres’s The Fresh New Face of Griselda follows young Geez (as Griselda is called by her family) as she adjusts to her family’s new socioeconomic situation. Her dad’s landscaping business recently shut down and the family lost their home. As a result, they’ve had to move in with her Nana.
Griselda’s enterprising sister, Maribel has become a sales rep for cosmetic company Alma in order to save up for college. Griselda is embarrassed about the new changes — having to eat school lunch, being unable to afford things at the mall, etc. She’s even too ashamed to confide in her best friend Sophia, or hang out with her other friend, Logan. But for her, the saddest change is her dad moving to Los Angeles.
So when she sees the ad to become an Alma Junior Associate, she sees it as a chance to earn some money. Geez hopes that if she makes enough, her dad won’t need to work so far away. That’s how she begins selling lip gloss at school — of course, some drama ensues.
As in her novel Stef Soto, Jennifer Torres shows a keen understanding of the strain of financial difficulties. Griselda’s experience of losing her family home and her parents being separated for work are heartbreaking. Her worries even affect her relationships with her friends Sophia and Logan.
This book has a strong entrepreneurial tone which I loved. I was rooting for Geez as she sold lip gloss at school and enjoyed all the business tips from Maribel. Of course, with every sale and student frenzy, readers know that things won’t end well. I also really enjoyed reading about Maribel and her go-getter attitude.
There are also strong messages of what friendship really means as Geez sees that she can trust her friends. I enjoyed seeing Maribel and Griselda’s relationship and its evolution throughout the story.
Overall: The Fresh New Face of Griselda
The Fresh New Face of Griselda is a thoughtful, sensitive book about a child coping with economic upheaval. This book will be helpful for kids dealing with economic changes or whose friends are experiencing them. More importantly, if you enjoy books with entrepreneurial girls or the bond of sisterhood, you’ll love this one!
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More Book Reviews
- Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
- More to the Story by Hena Khan
- Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia Perez
Have you read this book or anything by author Jennifer Torres? I enjoyed Stef Soto a lot too! What are some of your favorite middle-grade books by Latino authors?