C. Lee McKenzie's latest YA novel, The Princess of Las Pulgas, is a story that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page. From GoodReads:
After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie thought things couldn't get worse. But now, she is forced to confront the fact that her family in dire financial straits. To stay afloat, her mom has had to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move Carlie and her younger brother Keith to the other side of the tracks to dreaded Las Pulgas, or "the fleas" in Spanish.
If you’ ever lost a family member, you know how devastating it is and how your whole life changes. Then, if circumstances cause you to have to leave the home you’ve grown up in and live in a new place totally different to what you’re used to, it’s understandable that you’ll be bitter and hate your new life. At least at first.
Author C. Lee McKenzie’s latest novel for young adults, The Princess of Las Pulgas, deals with such a situation. When Carlie Edmund’s father dies, she loses not only the father that she loves but also her home and her friends. Unable to afford their expensive beach house any longer, Carlie’s mother sells it and they move to Las Pulgas, the worst place in the universe Carlie can imagine living. Even the cat, Quicken, is upset and runs away. Carlie and her younger brother, Keith, also have to attend a new school where Juan, the boy with the big smile, gives her the nickname Princess because she acts like royalty. Carlie has a lot to learn about the students in her new school as well as her old friends from Channing. And along the way little whispers in her heart remind Carlie of advice her father gave her. To me, these whispers show how close Carlie and her father were and how she is hurting for him.
Ms. McKenzie has written a touching story about love and loss, family and friends, and how we can misjudge people when we don’t really know them. This book would make a great addition to school libraries to help students that may be going through a situation similar to Carlie’s and also for your own personal library.