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.

Review quotes

*"Corpus Christi native López smartly focuses on the road that got Selena [Quintanilla] to her success and all the work and study that went into overcoming genre, racial, and gender divides in the music industry. She gets the details and tone right, whether it's in capturing her subject's passion for performing or simply sprinkling in Spanish words and phrases without overexplaining them. Martinez's illustrations capture the Quintanilla family's loving moments and convey extra information with the layering in of postcards, banners, street signs, and lyrics. A Spanish-language edition, translated by Carmen Tafolla, is equally on target, with careful phrasing and a warmth in tone. . . . A worthy, sparkling addition."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"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. . . . Will inspire anyone who dreams of a career in the performing arts."—School Library Journal, starred review

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.

Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780593110959
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
July 20, 2021
Series
-

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