This was such a fun book with a lot of cultural references that are fun to explore. Everyone from my 6-year-old up to my 13-year-old and I enjoyed it, which is a rare occurrence nowadays. A mystery, a spunky heroine, excitement, suspense…I have no problem unequivocally recommending this book to families. The target audience is probably 3rd or 4th grade, but the story itself has wide appeal.
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma Details
Title: Julieta and the Diamond Enigma
Author: Luisana Duarte Armendariz
Publication Year: 2020
Age Group: Early Elementary, Mid Elementary, Late Elementary
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We choose this book as one of our family read-alouds for the year because it was on Brave Writer’s 2021-2022 Dart book list for ages 8-10. We have a high success rate with their book choices. Recently it has been getting harder, because I try to use the same book with all my kids from the first grader to the teenager. However, this one was hands-down a winner. All of my kids were entranced and found the narrator, Julieta, to be delightful, relatable, and funny.
There are so many educational aspects of this book that are perfect avenues for deeper exploration, but kids won’t even notice. The author speaks Spanish, so there are several Spanish phrases seamlessly woven into the story as well as some French. The reader gets glimpses of several landmarks in France such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. A fun activity to go along with this book is to use Google Earth to take a virtual visit to these locations. Numerous works of art are mentioned which are fun to explore. There are even several elements of Greek mythology that my Percy Jackson-loving kids particularly enjoyed.
Overall, this is a fun, wholesome adventure mystery with an endearing and appealing main character. I hope your kids will find this story as entertaining as we did!
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