Girl of the Year 2005: Marisol

Author: Gary Soto
Illustrator: Richard Jones


(part of my post got eaten after I'd returned the book to the library and moved...this is what I remember)

Marisol Luna loves dancing and loves the people around her, so when she finds out that her family is moving out of their crowded Chicago neighborhood to a suburb with no dance studio, she's devastated. The move is in just a few days, right after her last folklórico performance. On a weekend trip to see the new house, Marisol learns from her soon-to-be next-door neighbor that there used to be a place for dancers to practice, but the teacher moved away and no one's replaced her. So when Marisol learns that the daughter of her upstairs neighbor in Chicago is a dance teacher, she starts scheming. The neighbor is getting married soon, and his daughter will just feel like a third wheel. And one of Marisol's teachers happens to live in the suburb, and is also into dance...it's not long before Marisol has convinced the two teachers to share a place and the daughter to restart the dance studio. She's not going to be able to do it right away, but it'll happen.

All too soon, moving day comes. Marisol can't find her cat and they have to leave without him (they'll come back in a day or two). The first morning at their new house, everyone's feeling nostalgic for breakfast food from the deli in their old neighborhood. Marisol goes back with her mom, and they say hi to the familiar faces--and find the cat! As they leave, Marisol thinks about the excitement she's leaving behind, and the excitement she'll find in her new home.

True Stories

Annie has been taking modern dance lessons since she was five, and is about to start ballet. Laura and Anna are sisters who started ballet together six years ago, and have enjoyed dancing together in different performances, including The Nutcracker. Alinee moved to Wisconsin from Mexico City, and has continue dancing traditional folklórico.


Dedicated to "Idalia, Patricia,Sandra, and Gina, the best darn teachers of Hebbronville, Texas."

Because Kailey was available for about a year and a half, there was no girl of the year for 2004.

Marisol's performance goes from Thursday to Wednesday and back to Thursday. In 2005, October 22 was a Saturday.

Anyone else think Marisol's parents could have given her a little more time to adjust to the idea of a move? And why didn't they keep the cat inside the last time they fed it before moving?

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