Life with three kids can get pretty busy. A while back we received a copy of Lucia the Luchadora and the Million Masks, and it quickly became a favourite read in our house. Unfortunately, we were not able to do a proper review of the wrestling-themed kids book until COVID-19 forced us to slow down our pace of ferrying kids to their various activities.
Being a teacher, I saw this time of social distancing as a teachable moment and I handed out an assignment to the three students in my home — 14-year-old Avery 14, and the 9-year-old twins Arleigh and Braxton. They enthusiastically took to the task of reviewing the story of Lucia and discussing its merits at the dinner table. We hope you enjoy our family’s perspective and share our affinity for Lucia the Luchadora.
The theme of an older sibling trying to find common ground with their younger sibling resonates throughout childhood. Author Cynthia Leonor Garza captures the up and down relationships of sisters perfectly in her second wrestling-themed children’s book, Lucia the Luchadora and the Million Masks, which came out in the fall of 2018.
In the first book, Lucia the Luchadora (from 2017), we are introduced to the verbose Lucia who loves wearing her lucha libre mask. With her mask Lucia rights wrongs and feels empowered. In Garza’s latest foray into the life of Lucia we are introduced to her younger sister, Gemma. Like most younger brothers or sisters, Gemma, admires her older sibling, and in this case, the mask and daring of Lucia.
Without meaning to, Gemma tears a hole in Lucia’s mask and it must be mended. The sisters go on a mission to find a mask for Gemma and perhaps a new identity for Lucia. In the end they realize they are not so different and they both want to be honourable luchadoras. A fun part of the story is the brief cameo of Mil Mascaras.
My children have read both books and have enjoyed learning about the code of lucha libre, so I asked them what they got out of the latest one.
Braxton liked the story but was a little overwhelmed by the descriptive language. “I liked how the pictures looked because I read books before where the pictures are not as bright and colourful,” said Braxton. “The illustrations are really colourful, big, and stand out.”
His twin sister Arleigh liked the fact that the sisters pretended to be luchadoras. She has read the book dozens of times and each time she opens the book she feels happy. “I like the part where Gemma and Lucia find a kitten and bring it back to its family of cats,” said Arleigh.
Avery, the oldest, said, “I enjoyed the book because it managed to say a lot without using many words. The illustrations were engaging and the sentences, while short, introduce kids to new and expressive dialect.” She went on to say, “The relationship between Lucia and Gemma would be relatable to any siblings and their dynamic compliments the story nicely.”
Danielle, mother of the Smith children, also enjoyed the book. “I was particularly taken by the way that the author used few, carefully selected words and how those words evoked a real connection to the mood and emotion of the characters (particularly Lucia). The feelings of quick, strong movement were palpable even without the aid of the beautifully colourful illustrations. The dynamics of the relationships shared between the two girls and their grandmother were touchingly authentic. Being the mother of two amazing young ladies myself, I certainly appreciated the way that the author celebrated the true nature of each of these strong female characters!”
The Smith family enthusiastically enjoyed Lucia the Luchadora and the Million Masks. We highly recommend this story for the young luchador and luchadora in your life!