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The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre–Out now!

Reviews and blurbs:
“Flavorful details, a quick-moving plot, and psychological depth bring this Cuban-American family to life. A treasure for any library.” —Rebecca Balcarcel (!)

“A heartwarming book about growing up, growing friendships, growing the bonds of family and culture, and growing dreams of your own.” —Aida Salazar (!)

“My twelve-year- old self would have loved a friend like her. When one girl’s voice gets louder, we all get stronger. Go Zoey!” —Doreen Cronin

“Alegre has written a warm, funny, empowering book that’s sure to appeal to fans of Meg Medina’s Merci Suarez Changes Gears or Pablo Cartaya’s The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Recommended for all collections.” —School Library Journal

“A heartfelt debut novel rooted in the importance of family ties, the bonds of friendship, and bowling.” —Kirkus

“A charming debut about grief, the bonds of family and friendship, and bowling.” —Booklist

About The Dream Weaver:
Twelve-year-old Zoey navigates the tricky waters of friendship while looking for a way to save her grandfather’s struggling business in this heartwarming, coming-of-age debut novel perfect for fans of Kristi Wientge, Donna Gephart, and Meg Medina.

Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From start-up companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.

So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother, José, will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!

After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together…until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare. Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.”

Simon & Schuster

My son (12yo) devoured The Dream Weaver and absolutely loved it! He loved everything about it, from the characters to the story to the name of the bowling alley, which reminded him of his teacher’s nickname.

After all the raving, I went in expecting an amazing read, and Alegre’s The Dream Weaver absolutely exceeded my expectations. In the book hangover that followed after I finished, I found myself incoherently repeating I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s the type of story that sticks with you and begs to be reread.

I’m a sucker for family stories, as well as those about finding one’s identity, and this sweet, heartfelt MG delivered these themes beautifully. The scenes between Zoey and her grandfather were some of my favorite, though the scenes with her new friends were also sweet. Zoey is a wonderfully fleshed out character you can’t help but root for from the opening pages. In fact, Zoey reminded me so much of myself at that age.

This story is sure to resonate with readers!

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