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Maximilian and the Bingo Rematch

School Library Journal

Gr 4-7–This bilingual sequel to Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel (Cinco Puntos, 2011) avoids formulaic trappings and can be readily enjoyed as a stand-alone novel while artfully setting up the next installment. Everything has become more complicated for lucha-libre wrestling fanatic Maximilian since starting sixth grade. A lotería bingo game almost breaks out into “a no-holds-barred brawl” when his aunts Dolores and Socorro both claim the Queen Bingo trophy and an intense rematch looms imminent. Big changes with his Uncle Lalo put the family’s newly minted wrestling dynasty on shaky ground. Romance blossoms between Maximilian and Celia Cruz, who then moves to California. Can their long-distance love last, especially when a new girl with a mysterious connection to Maximilian moves to Rio Grande City? Max’s transition into sixth grade drives this adventure and coming-of-age novel’s narrative arc, framing a plot that focuses on relationships that a range of readers will connect with: family, friends, and first love, among others. Garza employs plenty of humor and a first-person voice that rings true to Maximilian’s character. The story includes enough action to satisfy most fans while broadening its focus to reflect the increasing complexities in the boy’s life. Energetic cartoon illustrations complement the story, particularly those related to lucha libre. A quick pace and short chapters make this an engaging read; with its bilingual text and universally relatable treatment of Latino culture, it’s an outstanding choice.–Ted McCoy, Oakland Public Library, CA
- June 20, 2013 

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