I am excited to share with you the cover and a sneak peek of my upcoming middle-grade novel, Miosotis Flores Never Forgets, which will be published on October 5, 2021 from the Tu Books imprint of Lee & Low Books.
First, here is a brief description of the book:
Miosotis Flores is excited about three things: fostering rescue dogs, goofy horror movies, and her sister Amarilis’s upcoming wedding. School? Not on that list. But her papi cares about school more than anything else, so they strike a deal: If Miosotis improves her grades in two classes, she can adopt a dog of her own in the summer.
Miosotis dives into her schoolwork, and into nurturing a fearful little pup called Freckles. Could he become her forever dog? At the same time, she notices Amarilis behaving strangely—wearing thick clothing in springtime, dropping her friends in favor of her fiancé, even avoiding Miosotis and the rest of their family. When she finally discovers her sister’s secret, Miosotis faces some difficult choices. What do you do if someone is in danger, but doesn’t want your help? When should you ask for support, and when should you try to handle things on your own? And what ultimately matters most—what Miosotis wants, or what’s right for the ones she loves?
Perfect for fans of Meg Medina and Barbara O’Connor, this heartfelt novel about family, dogs, and other things we hold close is one that you’ll never forget.
I grew up in an apartment building that didn’t allow pets, with parents who valued academic achievement above everything else. When I created Miosotis and her story, I used some elements of my own childhood experiences, like the longing for a dog and the overprotective Dominican family. Miosotis is the baby of her family. She’s used to her big sister looking out for her. When she learns that Amarilis needs looking after as well, she wonders if she can step up in the same way that she has stepped up to take care of the dogs that need her. Cover illustrator Lissy Marlin did a great job showing Miosotis as I imagined her: pensive and a bit tentative, but with an obvious inner strength and optimism. I’m so thrilled to share that cover with you now . . .
And here is an exclusive excerpt:
Rory and I keep going until we reach the duck pond, and he heads straight toward the water. I hold him back. He sniffs his way near a gaggle of geese. They look a little vicious when they stand and waddle toward us, and some are even bigger than Rory, so I pick him up and run back to the trail. This dog definitely needs me to protect him.
He knows it too. When I put him down, he balances on his hind legs and licks my face all over, which tickles and makes me laugh. At the end of the trail, I check for traffic, then cross the street and head home. I stop in front of Gina’s house and look over at mine. Rory sits and looks at me, and I’m pretty sure he’s ready to follow me anywhere, like Gina said about Prissy and Max. I stand under the pine tree my parents planted in front of our house after their first Christmas together. Rory trots over and sits next to me again.
What would happen if I took off Rory’s leash? Would he stick beside me? I know we just met, but dogs always like me, and Rory seems to have gotten attached already. Even though Papi said I have to wait until the summer—and the two As—to get a dog, I wonder what he’d do if he saw Rory. Would he notice that Rory looks like a fluffy teddy bear, like my mother’s dog Osito? Maybe Papi would get all sentimental and let me keep him. After all, he gets teary every time he talks about Osito and my mother. “That dog followed her everywhere,” he says. “He stopped eating when she was gone.”
I get a great idea. I’ll take off Rory’s leash, he’ll follow me home, and Papi will look up from his newspaper. He’ll remember my mother’s dog, see how much Rory loves me, and say, Yes, you may certainly keep him right now. And then I won’t have to worry about an A in science, or about any of my other grades.
Just as I unclip the leash, a squirrel scampers down our pine tree and zooms toward the busy avenue. Rory bursts down the sidewalk and chases after the squirrel. I gasp and stare at his blur of a tail, unable to move. He’s heading straight into traffic.
I drop the leash and run after Rory.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt, and I look forward to sharing the whole book with you in October!
Miosotis Flores Never Forgets is available now for preorder at Indiebound, Bookshop, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
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