The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejía

S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2023. 224p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665917056.
Gr 4-7–Twelve-year-old Valentina Mejía marvels at how different her parents are: her scientist mother who shares the changes and harm occurring to the Earth’s climate and land, and her historian father who could spend all day talking about the myths and legends of Colombia. While Valentina listens, she doesn’t really believe like her little brother Julián does. While out in search of a patasola with Papi one day, Valentina feels that something awful is coming, and soon the land is torn open by an earthquake, leaving Valentina and Julián separated from their injured father. As they try to get help, they find themselves in an incredible land where they come across the very creatures from her father’s stories. As they make new friends and avoid danger, Valentina and Julián must reach the Queen of this beautiful land, Madremonte, and try to convince her that humans are not dangerous in order to get back to help their father. On this incredible journey, Valentina discovers that these legendary creatures are more a part of her than she could have imagined. Readers will enjoy the adventure and humor in this breathtaking fantasy which depicts not only legendary creatures of Colombia, but also centers this beautiful country’s environment, lands, and animals. Alessandri weaves a story that brings attention to the harm and destruction occurring to the lands while also sharing legends that are an important part of Colombia’s culture. Readers will enjoy meeting each legend, the sibling dynamic, and watching Valentina grow and embrace the lore her father has shared.
VERDICT This magical middle grade novel is an homage both to a country’s beauty and its legends, with a fantastical adventure that will leave readers wishing for more.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing