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The Last Cuentista
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
46 posts | 28 read | 26 to read
Haba una vez . . . There lived a girl named Petra Pea, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? Pura Belpr Honor-winning author Donna Barba Higuera presents us with a brilliant journey through the stars, to the very heart of what makes us human.
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DinoMom
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Holiday decor all packed up in the bins, hubby on kid bedtime duty tonight so I get to curl up with the cat and book.

This book was the last roll for this months #roll100 hosted by @PuddleJumper
It had been on my shelf since last christmas. I am enjoying how the author is weaving together science fiction and traditional folklore in this tale.

MuddyPuddle It won the 2022 Newbery Award. 4w
PuddleJumper 😻😻😻 Such a pretty cat 4w
DinoMom @PuddleJumper yes and he know it too, and uses it to his advantage 🤣 4w
46 likes3 comments
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cm779518
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
Pickpick

In 2022 this book won the Newberry Medal. This book is very inter and its a story about a girl and her family leaving planet earth and continuing the human race on another comet.

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maggiedesantis
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera

Sprinkled with Mexican folklore, the science fiction tale tells the story of Petra Pena's journey through space and time is a stunning reminder of the power of stories and how those stories shape both our past and future.
Awards won: Newbury Award
Purpose of Award: To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children
Author/Illustrator: Donna Barba Higuera
Date of publication: 2021
Genre: Science Fiction

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Bookgoil
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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I never posted my collage I made for October all these months are flying by since I started work. I read 36 books that month and some great standouts were:

Miss Quinces
Swim Team
The Last Cuentista
White Smoke
Daughter of the Moon Goddess

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MaggieCarr
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

Kelly V. told me to read this during Book Bites so I read it. ❤️

Dystopian middle grade Krypton last moments × Zenon, Girl of the Twenty-First Century meets WALL-E. Amazing themes showcasing the value of learning from history through storytelling rather than erasing it all as if it never existed.

jewright I enjoyed this one. 3mo
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BekaReid
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

Donna Barba Higuera deftly communicates the importance of stories and the art of storytelling in this absolutely beautifully written MG science fiction. (This cover is stunning!)

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BekaReid
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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"A world without story is lost."
(I love books that are gorgeous without the jacket too!)

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BekaReid
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Perfect. I adore it when I come across references to other authors and/or books in books (especially ones I love!)

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Melismatic
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

This was fabulous. The awards & praise was well placed. I loved the weaving of English & Spanish and clear ardor of folklore old & new. Another must for middle/high school English classes to pour over in my opinion.

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Allylu
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

Finished The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera which I borrowed from our local library. It certainly deserves the Newberry sticker that I will remind them to put on when I return it. The story was very different than I expected since I heard buzz about the book, but not about the story before I read it. I say it is a modern story about old things and their value. I enjoyed it very much. #89 #BookSpin #BFC22 #SuperSeptember #MGReads

wanderinglynn 🎃🖤👻 5mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
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Professional_Book_Dragon
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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My book haul from ALA so so many free books.

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TheKidUpstairs
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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#OnThisDay in 1922 the first Newbery Medal was presented to Henrik Van Loon for his book The History of Mankind. Awarded annually for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children", it is yet another award named after an Englishman that only an American can win. In the 100 years of the award, only 6 authors have won the Medal more than once, and no one has won three. #HistoryGetsLIT

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Professional_Book_Dragon
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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I have gotten to meet so many amazing authors at ALA. I was so excited to meet Donna Barba Higuera tonight! I was so excited when she won the Newbery this year! Such an amazing book!

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Mdion1993
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Mehso-so

A thirteen year old girl named Petra leaves a dying Earth with her family in the hopes of colonizing a new planet. But when Petra wakes from hyperspace, her family is missing and she is the only traveler who remembers Earth‘s past. Dystopian ✨ Sentimental ✨ Galactic

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kera_11
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Petra dreams of being a storyteller like her grandma but a comet is about to destroy earth. her family gets chosen and she gets put to sleep for 300 years & wakes up in space an orphan & seems to be the only person to remember Earth & anything at all about the past. she tells other children her stories, cuentos, to try to rouse their memories and get them to escape with her. interweaving of Mexican folklore and a mythical stand of science fiction.

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Chittavrtti
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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March and April reads read. Not pictured: the Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill.

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wideeyedreader
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

Wow this was a good one! So glad it‘s my #doublespin this month! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Chittavrtti
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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A perfect birthday moment.

readingjedi Ooh lovely cover 😍 9mo
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Butterfinger
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

At times, I thought it was too similar to Beth Revis's Across the Universe. Eventually, it became its own and I began to appreciate it. And, knowing Beth's mother personally, I think Beth would appreciate the similarities.

Chrissyreadit I loved Across The Universe! So cool that you know the authors mom! 9mo
Butterfinger @Chrissyreadit I wish you would read it to see if you agree. It won the Newbery Award. 9mo
Chrissyreadit @Butterfinger it‘s on my TBR- I‘m reading so slow these days but I hope I get to read it this year- because It‘s def my wheelhouse. 9mo
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Branwen
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Look what came in the mail today! I've been really looking forward to reading this after I learned it just won the Newbery Award! 💕📚💕 It sounds amazing and look how beautiful not only the dust jacket is, but the naked cover as well! 😍

KristiAhlers I love that cover art is now literally just that! 💙 10mo
rachelsbrittain I really enjoyed this one! 10mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 💙 10mo
peanutnine 😍😍😍 10mo
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RebL
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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💯 would recommend. Deserves all the awards. #MGFantasy dystopia awesomeness. Should have a sequel or partner or... just more.

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Caryl
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Best way to spend April Fools‘ Day: Fooling myself that I‘ll read all these books this month! 😉 But it‘s spring break this week, so I should at least get off to a great start. 📚🥳💖

#BookSpinBINGO

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 10mo
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Lindy
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

A Latina girl with vision impairment, who dreams of being a storyteller, travels for 3 centuries to another planet, but when she is awakened from stasis, it appears she‘s the only one on the ship who remembers Earth. A dystopian middle grade Newbery winner that kept me from sleeping until it was finished! Audiobook is read by Frankie Corzo. #kidlit Grade 5-up

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Lindy
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Len sprints up the ramp like a Jesus lizard across a pond.

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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

It‘s been a long time since I‘ve read anything dystopian! This may be the first dystopian middle grade I‘ve read though (most were YA.) I LOVED the storytelling theme so much. It is such a well-written tale with much in it to contemplate.

I did find it a bit of a stretch how quickly & easily several “reprogrammed” characters regained their memories, but that‘s a small quibble with a book worthy of the awards & accolades it‘s received. #buddyread

BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves P.S. A futuristic book with a reference to “the pandemic back in the twenties” drove home the fact that we really are living in a historically significant time. So crazy that a book could be written, published, (and win an award!) all in the span since COVID started! 🤯 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves P.P.S. Have you had any luck requesting Watercress from your library, by the way? Mine had a waitlist even before the award announcements, but I just got notified it‘s my turn & I can go pick it up this week! A picture book would be a short one to do next if you can get it. I don‘t think I‘ll have trouble getting ahold of any of the others though (Red, White, & Whole I skipped right to purchasing) Let me know what you think! 📚 11mo
smilingshelves It does seem unusual to find dystopian in middle grade rather than YA, but I think this author does it well. Not quite convinced of the plausibility of the timelines and science of the Collective, but it was definitely a compelling read! I agree that the story-telling aspect made for some great messages and layers. 11mo
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smilingshelves P.S. That line stuck out to me, too, but almost for the insignificance of it, if that's the right word. Someday we'll talk about the pandemic of the 20s like we talk about the Great Depression. In cultural and historical memory, rather than present life. I'm looking forward to that day! 11mo
smilingshelves P.P.S. According to the library catalogue, it's actually available at the big branch I'm planning to visit next Tuesday. I just put it on hold, so it should be there waiting for me! 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves perfect! Watercress will be next then 😊 Sarah said on the RAR podcast it is excellent, but also difficult. I will get my tissues ready 😢 11mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves I've got Watercress! When do we want to read it? 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves this weekend? I‘m going to be snowed in tomorrow, so I‘m sure I can manage a picture book! Lol 11mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves Sounds good! Enjoy your snow, and I hope it melts soon! 😊 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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P 257 This line, on the other hand, is such a lovely way of describing people, each unique in their own way. #buddyread

smilingshelves Yes! I marked this quote, too. There were some great ones in this book! 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
This post contains spoilers
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I got so absorbed finishing the book over the weekend… now I can look back over the last few quotes I marked! #buddyread @smilingshelves

P 235 This line made my blood run cold. Killing everyone as a means of ensuring “peace”? What?! 🤯 I don‘t know the source, but it reminds me of the saying that goes something like “peace is more than just the absence of war.” Killing everyone in your path sure doesn‘t sound like a pathway to peace to me.

smilingshelves For sure. That is some seriously messed up "logic" there. 11mo
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smilingshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Page 247 This! This is the heart of this story! #buddyread @BucklingBookshelves

BucklingBookshelves Yes! That is a great line. 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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P 165 - I love the richness conveyed in the list of examples Petra gives of art and food and culture. Of course, war and famine are terrible, but making everyone lifeless, identical robots can‘t possibly be the way to address those problems. #buddyread

smilingshelves I just read a quote in an older Newbery book that spoke to this (although it was talking about Communist China). "The lights have been dimmed, but so have the shadows." The bad things have gotten better, but at the price of diversity and art and variety. I agree - there absolutely have to be better ways to solve this than complete uniformity! 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I‘ve heard that one is good! It‘s on my (very long) list of Newberys still to read… I might need to start strategizing LOL 11mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves I really liked the character of Young Fu. It was a good read, for sure! That's why I picked my decade of winners per year plan. Keeps me sort of on track! 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I may work my way through the medalists next since there are less of them than Honors, but I‘m such a mood reader, I dunno if that will work… Or I might start with favorite authors… I have a bunch I really can‘t believe I haven‘t read yet! Up til now I had been working on the more seasonal ones — picking up some set in summer, at Christmas, spooky ones near Halloween, etc. but I‘m running out of those! (edited) 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves p.s. if you haven‘t read it yet, Pancakes-Paris by Claire Huchet Bishop is perfect for this time of year! It takes place at Mardi Gras during wartime. I read it last year, but it‘s short enough I may pick it up to re-read! 11mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check that one out. Once I'm done with the medalists, I'll have to come up with a different plan for the Honor books. A decade's worth of those in a year is a bit too many! 😄 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves that‘s so true! I also may start reading by lengthy… get a streak going by reading some of the shorter ones! 😆🤷🏼‍♀️📚 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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P 154 — This strikes me as very true! Of course, we‘d all prefer to be the latter, but it‘s hard to say how we‘d really react under duress. Makes me think of all the “quieter” heroes that don‘t always get the credit or accolades, but are courageous just doing what is needed in difficult circumstances, despite their fear. #buddyread

smilingshelves Absolutely! So many people do amazing things every day, and no one ever knows. 11mo
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smilingshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Page 186. I like this Rabbit motif that keeps showing up. It applies to our boring lives here on Earth, as well as a girl on a distant planet surrounded by the Collective. Life is a journey, and you only know what's out there if you try. #buddyread @BucklingBookshelves

BucklingBookshelves I book-darted that quote! There is much truth there, even if our own journeys tend to be a bit more mundane. I love the stories-within-the story setup, (like the rabbit stories.) (edited) 11mo
BucklingBookshelves I caught up to where you were last night at lunch today… definitely will read some more tonight, too… I am sooo curious what direction this is going to go now they found the vault and Voxy is getting involved. P.S. I‘m pretty sure this is the book they keep referring to as Javier‘s favorite. I think I read it after it won a bunch of awards, but my memory is fuzzy. I saw a mention of it on the copyright page & want to read it again now! (edited) 11mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves I never even considered that it was a real book! I just figured it was made up for the story. I must read this book now! 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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P 76 Story generators? What a horrifying thought! #buddyread

smilingshelves I was going to post this quote, too, with almost that exact same comment! 😄 I will take my stories written by real live people, thank you very much! 11mo
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smilingshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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P. 63 As I'm sure it's meant to, this applies to so much more than just rocks! #buddyread @BucklingBookshelves

BucklingBookshelves I loved that line! It‘s so true. 11mo
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BucklingBookshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Excited to crack open our first Newbery buddy read of 2022!

smilingshelves I've got one chapter down this morning. I think we're in for an interesting ride! 11mo
BucklingBookshelves @smilingshelves I (finally!) sorted out the change I needed in my work schedule, so I‘m hopeful it won‘t take me weeks to finish like it did for some of the 2021 books 🙈🤷🏼‍♀️ I got interrupted this morning (imagine that! 😆), but I‘ll pick it back up later today for sure. 11mo
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smilingshelves
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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@BucklingBookshelves Got my library hold! Are you ready for a #buddyread sometime soon? 😊

BucklingBookshelves Yay! How about we start next week? I ended up buying a copy, so I‘m ready to go after I finish the other middle grade book I‘m in the middle of right now. 📚 12mo
smilingshelves @BucklingBookshelves Sounds good! I'll try to finish the book I'm reading by Monday. (I've been watching way more Olympics than I've been reading in the evenings...) 12mo
18 likes2 comments
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crazyspine
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

While this Middle School novel shares plot points and themes with by classic YA tales such as The Giver and Life As We Knew It, the author's unique voice and incorporation of traditional Mexican folktales gives this novel a unique spin.

Megabooks What a cutie! 12mo
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Writeme
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Mehso-so

I‘m always bummed when I don‘t fall in love with an award winning book. But this middle grade novel did not do it for me. As a small group of humans manage to escape earth in search of a new home in the hours before a wayward comet hits, the worst type of humans make it onto the ship as well. I found it predictable, undeveloped, and trite. I loved the intention, but was not compelled to care about the outcome or the characters. Maybe it‘s just me?

Nute I just realized what is being depicted on one half of her face on the cover. Is there relevance to the story? 10mo
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BookMaven9
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟
Now that‘s how you write a YA book! This is an important read for everyone. A strong POC, young woman who is striving to survive and save the human race‘s histories. Highly recommend!

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SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

"? ???? ??????? ???'? ?????? ???? ????? ???????. ??? ?? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ??????, ?? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ????.”⁣

After reading this book, I can absolutely see why it recently won both the highly prestigious Newbery Medal and the Pura Belpré Children‘s Author Award. Highly recommend!

Johanna414 I just got this at work - adding it to my TBR! 12mo
SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime @Johanna414 i hope you enjoy it!! 12mo
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la_isla
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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I know stories can‘t always have happy endings. But if there are chances for us to do better, we have to say out loud the parts that hurt the most.

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Professional_Book_Dragon
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

I loved this book! I read it as it may be a contender for the Newbery Medal. I hope so!

LoverOfLearning Wow and the cover is incredible! 12mo
Professional_Book_Dragon @LoverOfLearning I agree and the writing is just as amazing!! 12mo
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rachelsbrittain
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Finished my first few books of 2022 this week! Off to a good start.

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rachelsbrittain
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Pickpick

A middle grade science fiction novel where a conformist cult takes over the last spaceship to leave Earth on the eve of total destruction, wiping the minds of all the passengers like 12-year-old Petra so they don't remember anything about like before. But Petra is a storyteller, and she remembers. Full of surprises. I really enjoyed this one.

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Lovesbooks87
The Last Cuentista | Donna Barba Higuera
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Can‘t tell you what this book is about but I had to have it after seeing the cover. It is even more beautiful in person! 😍📚😍📚😍📚

rachelsbrittain That is a truly stunning cover, for sure! 1y
zezeki What a beautiful cover! 😍😍 1y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Would totally buy this just for the cover. 1y
Zbayardo I just finished it and I‘m so in love with the story, the cover, everything. I want to print this cover large and put it in my house! 14mo
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