Me, Frida, and the secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes
Scholastic Press, 2018. ISBN: 9781338159318. 220 pp.
(Age: 10+) I purchased this book with my young granddaughter in mind. She has a love of the art of Frida Kahlo. Paloma is travelling for the first time to Mexico City, the birthplace of her deceased father. Her mother, who has been awarded a four week literary fellowship here, wishes her daughter to experience some of the cultural rewards this country offers. She will be able to learn some Spanish and find out about Frida Kahlo, who was Paloma's father's favourite artist; therefore, keeping alive those precious memories of her father. While her mother attends the university, Paloma attends school in Mexico and has the chance to explore the city art galleries and La Casa Azul (the Blue House) where Frida lived in Coyoacan. She meets Lizzie and Gael who want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to the artist herself.
Paloma sees herself as Lulu Pennywhistle, the mastermind of the spy books she loves reading. An intriguing set of unexpected discoveries take place, as the young ones try to solve the mystery of the lost ring. The book has all the ingredients of a well-paced adventure; at the same time it introduces the young reader to an important piece of art history and, as her story progresses, Paloma comes to understand the importance of friendship and how much both her parents mean to her. This is an engaging and memorable story.