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Book Review: The Coquíes Still Sing

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Hurricane Maria was devastating to the island of Puerto Rico. Despite the damage to the infrastructure and farming community, the Puerto Rican people survive and continue to work for a better future. The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding is about the aftermath of the hurricane seen through the eyes of a young child. Read on for a review of The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding by Karina Nicole Gonzalez.

The Coquíes Still Sing review book cover

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In The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding, Elena and her family live in the hills of Puerto Rico.  They live a peaceful existence with nature and Elena spends days by her large mango tree, enjoying its fruits and shade.  In 2017 Hurricane Maria hits the island and is the strongest hurricane the island had seen in nearly a century.

As the hurricane rips through Puerto Rico and Elena’s physical home, the always-present Coquí frogs nearly go silent. Elena and her family survive but everything is torn apart and the family rebuilds slowly with the help of the community. One of the most important aspects of rebuilding includes new gardens and a sustainable food source that the mango tree and surrounding gardens brought.

The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding is a touching book about the effects of Hurricane Maria as seen through the eyes of a child. It offers good insight into the challenges the Puerto Rican community faces after every natural disaster. The story touches on several interesting aspects of the Puerto Rican culture, the native tree frog that inhabits the island, the importance of food sovereignty plus organizations that readers can support that work with the Puerto Rican people.

Illustrations by Krystal Quiles offer bold brushstrokes to show the uncertainty and chaos of the hurricane but also capture the bright energy of a community coming together for a better future. The characters are shown with diverse skin tones which is important because Puerto Rican people come in all shades of brown.

Rating 5/5 stars

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