Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza

Children - Mystery
185 Pages
Reviewed on 05/13/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite

Kitty Felde’s telling of Fina Mendoza’s adventures in Washington, D.C. includes a furry orange dog, a black cat with yellow eyes, a first taste of snow for a California girl, an introduction to the Crypt, which is a real place you can visit, and a child’s-eye view of the inside of the Capitol. The characters in Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza are from Hispanic and other ethnic backgrounds. Fina’s adventures of growing up in the nation’s capital can help readers see their troubles in a new way.

Fina Mendoza left her family and her memories in Los Angeles when she moved to Washington, D.C. In Kitty Felde’s Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza, the first creature to welcome Fina Mendoza to Washington, D.C. is the Demon Cat who is reputed to have the power to curse anyone who sees it. Then there’s the furry orange dog named Senator Something, who needs to be walked. He takes Fina to interesting and scary places. Fina’s adventures bring both success and failure. The reader is always wondering what will Fina try next.

It’s clear that the author had fun doing research about the legends of Washington D.C., rooms in the Capitol, historical figures and the daily lives of congressional representatives. Every creature leads to adventures, which include the Mexican Day of the Dead, and a tour of the Crypt in the Capitol building. Fina’s sweet family relationships and her growing maturity make for a heartwarming adventure.

Debby E

It's clear why this book was chosen to receive the Readers' Favorite silver medal. The story that Kitty Felde weaves of a young, brave girl who has just moved to DC and is still grieving the loss of her mother, is both intriguing and cleverly written. The reader is caught up in young Fina's curiosity; that of the Demon Cat, and the new, chilly city she now calls home.

The timing of the story and the perfect placement of the settings and conversations is brilliant. Fina's thoughts and observations bring you into her world, and in the end, you're hungry to spend more time with her. I am looking forward to reading more of Kitty Felde's timeless stories.