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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Milagros Wallace’s Gregorina in Chicago: The Windy City is an inspiring tale of one young girl’s journey to feel at home in a new home, so very different from the one she had known. Gregorina moves from Venezuela to Chicago, where she is challenged, over a year spanning two spring seasons, to adapt to new scenery, a new climate with harsh seasonal changes, a new culture with new holiday traditions and social customs, new people, and a new language, just to name a few. Gregorina rises to every occasion and overcomes every obstacle, ultimately finding joy on the journey.
One of the most appealing aspects of Milagros Wallace’s Gregorina in Chicago: The Windy City is the appearance of English and Spanish text side by side. This encourages young readers to embrace the idea that the story’s positive message is relevant across cultures. In addition, the colorful and jaunty illustrations by Alynor Díaz perfectly complement Gregorina’s plucky and ebullient approach to life in her new home. From the moment that Gregorina arrives in Chicago, she finds strengths and skills that she did not know she could access. The result is an empowering allegory for children of all ages, with a positive message that spans cultures and generations. Milagros Wallace’s Gregorina in Chicago: The Windy City is a life-affirming triumph of a story for children, quietly paving the way to a better world, one positive attitude at a time. Any young reader struggling to feel a sense of belonging will be inspired by Gregorina’s experience.