Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote

Abrams/Amulet. (Questioneers). Oct. 2020. 160p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781419743504.
Gr 1-3–Sofia Valdez (Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, 2019) and the Questioneers are back in the fourth installment of Beaty and Roberts’s transitional chapter book series. Miss Greer’s second graders are choosing a class pet, and the ever civic-minded Sofia suggests holding an election. She gets more than she bargains for, however, when Miss Greer makes her the election commissioner. As Sofia and her classmates learn about elections, Sofia finds herself caught between two campaigns, and things get even more complicated when Sofia’s cousin needs to find a new home for her pet bird. When the ballots are finally counted and the class is one vote short, Sofia has another problem to solve. Luckily, with some good advice from her Abuelo and a little help from the library, Sofia finds ways to resolve both situations. The thoughtful story is well-paced and entertaining, and features a diverse cast of familiar characters, including Ada Twist, Rosie Revere, and Iggy Peck. Sofia and her family are of Mexican heritage, and her cousin uses a wheelchair. Ada is Black; Rosie, Iggy, and Miss Greer are white. Sofia’s relationship with her grandfather is a heartfelt anchor, and Beaty seamlessly integrates information about voting, the electoral process, journalism, and activism into the text; back matter explores these issues further and provides additional context. Short chapters, graph paper design elements, and Roberts’s charming illustrations add to the appeal.
VERDICT A winning (and timely) addition to the series; sure to delight existing fans and attract new ones as well.

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