MMGM: Spotlight on ‘How Tia Lola Came to Stay’

This warm and hilarious book is the perfect antidote for winter-weather blahs.  I loved it, truly loved it, and challenge anyone to read it without feeling warmer!

How Tia Lola Came to Stay cover

At the beginning of the book the main character, Miguel, is adjusting to country life in snowy Vermont after his parent’s divorce and the move from New York City.  The feeling you get when you look at this pic about sums up his feelings.

Cold Winter Day


He and his sister miss their father, friends, and the feeling of fitting in they had in the bustling city.  When their mom announces that Tia Lola will be coming to visit, it seems like a bad situation has just gotten a bit worse.

But as it turns out, she’s exactly what was missing without their knowing it.  In a beautiful blending of city life and country manners, cold Vermont winters and warm Dominican Republic colors, Julia Alvarez blends a new family without doing disservice to the old one.  I also really enjoyed the small sips of Spanish sprinkled through the book.  There was never so much it became confusing, but just enough to add a little flavor.

Truly a lovely book, filled with all kinds of spunk for life and examples of how good can come from challenges, and laughter from trying times.  I highly recommend it!

Now, let’s get the cat’s two cents.

???????????????????????????????“That lady had too much energy.  Always rushing about planning parties, cooking food, painting houses, and saying hola to everyone!  I liked her approach to life, but her energy made me tired.  Please excuse me–I’m overdue my nap.”


Hmm…seems to me like a certain cat was just looking for an excuse to sleep!  But, hey, it’s Monday.  Can you really blame her? 😉

Drop me a comment if you know of any other books that can keep me warm in these winter storms, and check out Shannon’s blog for the other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts!


11 comments to MMGM: Spotlight on ‘How Tia Lola Came to Stay’

  • I had not heard of this one so thanks for featuring. Sounds like just the tale to warm up an already too long winter.

  • This winter really is going on to long, isn’t it? Books are my greatest consolation. Enjoy Tia Lola!

  • This sounds like a great one.

    We had our snow last week (4 days of it) and my brain is still playing catch-up.

  • I love your cat’s comments, Suzanne. They add a unique touch to your blog. Books really are the perfect antidote to this awful winter. They’ve always been my favorite escape, anyway. And I mean real books, with pages I can turn. I’m actually reading Mark Helprin’s WINTER’S TALE right now.

  • I’m with you, Joanne, that in this kind of winter cold there’s no substitute for a cozy ‘real’ book! I’ll have to check out Winter’s Tale, ’cause I know from experience you have good taste. 😉 And glad you enjoy the cat! She’s very opinionated, and really does love to be read to!

    Michael–good luck catching up! I think when spring comes this year, the collective sigh of relief across the country will set all the birds to flight! lol

  • I love Julia Alverez… and some warm colors on a snowy Vermont day would do any soul good.

  • I’m with you there! And I’m going to track down the other Tia Lola stories, since I hear there are more, and see what else Julia Alverez has come up with. She’s got me hooked!

  • This sounds really interesting! It sounds like a great story about family, which I always love. Love your cat’s comments too! :)

  • Definitely a great family story, and beautiful the way that family feeling extends to the community around them as well. Really just a warm, delightful book!

    And I’ll pass your compliments on to the cat. She likes those. 😉

  • I’ll have to look this one up. My husband went on a church mission to the Dominican Republic, so I know he’d especially love it!

  • Oh, you should and I’ll bet he would! The author has written other Tia Lola stories, too, and I’m looking forward to picking them up. Also, I think it would make a great way to ease kids into a little Spanish without their even noticing it!

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