Sing with Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla

by Diana López (Author) Teresa Martinez (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

An exuberant picture book celebrating the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla, beloved Queen of Tejano music.

From a very early age, young Selena knew how to connect with people and bring them together with music. Sing with Me follows Selena's rise to stardom, from front-lining her family's band at rodeos and quinceañeras to performing in front of tens of thousands at the Houston Astrodome. Young readers will be empowered by Selena's dedication--learning Spanish as a teenager, designing her own clothes, and traveling around the country with her family--sharing her pride in her Mexican-American roots and her love of music and fashion with the world.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

K-Gr 4--Young Selena Quintanilla (1971-95), a groundbreaking Mexican American singer from Texas, "turned everything into a microphone: spoons, crayons, toothbrushes." When she was nine, her family formed a band, Selena y Los Dinos, and performed at their restaurant. When the family lost their house and business due to the recession of the early 1980s, they moved to Corpus Christi to live with relatives. They bought a bus and went on the road to perform at weddings, parties, and rodeos--often for a pittance. Selena loved to sing, but she wished she knew the Tejano songs her audience enjoyed. She longed to connect with them, so she taught herself Spanish. When the male-dominated Tejano music world was less than welcoming, she persisted. In 1986, she won her first Tejano Music Award at age 15. Selena studied fashion magazines and helped to design and create her own stage outfits. She eventually opened a chain of boutiques. The text ends on a high note, with Selena's historic performance at the Astrodome in Houston. An author's note mentions the star's untimely death at age 23. The energetic, bright cartoon illustrations depicting Selena and her family in various venues, decorated with rainbow notes, stars, hearts, and flowers will appeal to young readers. VERDICT This inspirational rags-to-riches biography, released on the heels of a Netflix miniseries about the singer's life, will inspire anyone who dreams of a career in the performing arts.--Barbara Auerbach, Cairo P.L., NY

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Diana López
Diana López is the author of numerous middle grade novels, including Confetti Girl and Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel. She also wrote the novel adaptation for the Disney/Pixar film Coco. A retired professor of English, Diana López now writes full time in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Teresa Martinez is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Halloween Tree and It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine. She lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and is a huge fan of Selena's music.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2021
Age Range
4 - 8 years

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