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by J. Torres

illustrated by Elbert Orr


School Library Journal:

Gr 7 Up— Lola (“grandmother” in Tagalog) has just died, and Jesse is reluctant to visit her home in the Philippines. He was afraid of her because she was rumored to have magical abilities, and because he thinks she tried to drown him when he was a baby. Jesse listens to family members tell stories about her as he tries to adjust to their strange mix of superstitions and religion. Lola is one of several dead characters in this book, and they tie into another reason that the boy is worried about this trip. Jesse is an unusually nuanced character, both in relation to his family and to readers. When he sees something extraordinary, it’s unclear if he is dreaming, hallucinating, or if he has inherited his grandmother’s abilities. Torres’s gradual revelation of details will keep readers hanging until they learn the truth. Or’s artwork uses sepia tones and smooth lines, and features characters with cute button eyes. But the sweet images can quickly turn horrific when Jesse has his visions. Lola ends with a cliff-hanger that could be resolved in a sequel but that just might have to be resolved by readers’ imaginations.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library –Andrea Lipinski (Reviewed May 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 5, p143)


  • YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens: 2011


10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Folklore, Graphic Novel