The Skirt by Gary Soto

The Skirt by Gary Soto
Publisher: Yearling
Genre: Childrens, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Miata Ramirez is scared and upset. The skirt she brought to show off at school is gone. She brought her forklorico skirt to show off at school and left it on the bus. It’s not just any skirt. This skirt belonged to Miata’s mother when she was a child in Mexico. On Sunday, Miata and her dance group are supposedgoing to dance forklorico, or traditional Mexican folk dances; and that kind of dancing requires a skirt like the one Miata lost. It’s Friday afternoon. Miata doesn’ t want her parents to know she’s lost something again. Can she find a way to rescue the precious skirt in time?

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How far would you go to correct an honest mistake?

Miata was good at a lot of things, but keeping track of important possessions wasn’t one of them. I appreciated the fact that her biggest weakness was something that mattered so much to the storyline. It was also interesting to meet a character who had so much trouble remembering where she put stuff that she honestly did mean to keep safe. This isn’t something I’ve seen written about a lot for this age group, so I was glad to run across a character who has trouble with this part of life.

There was what I thought of as a fairly obvious solution to the main character’s dilemma that she never seemed to catch onto. As much as I enjoyed watching her and her best friend, Ana, try to figure out how to find her folklórico skirt again before big dance on Sunday, it would have been nice for her to try an easier method for getting it back before they dove into the more complicated plans.

One of the other things I adored about this book was Miata’s relationship with Ana. They were supportive of each other no matter what was happening in their lives. I also liked the fact that both of these girls always treated each other with kindness and respect even when they were a little annoyed with one another for completely valid reasons. They were great role models of how friends should behave.

I’d recommend The Skirt to anyone who has ever struggled with a bad habit that they can’t quite seem to quit.

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