Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between in a resonant new novel from Meg Medina.Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or ...

Details Merci Suárez Changes Gears

TitleMerci Suárez Changes Gears
Release DateSep 11th, 2018
PublisherCandlewick Press
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family

Reviews Merci Suárez Changes Gears

  • Erin
    3.5 stars roundup A middle grade novel with plenty of heart, Merci Suarez Changes Gears is the kind of novel that young readers with large extended family will gravitate towards. Heartwarming is not a word I use too often in my reviews, but it is certainly warranted in regards to this book. Like Merci, I was close to my grandparents and even lived with my paternal grandparents for a time when I was a teenager. I loved the author's note too.
  • Juli
    Sixth grade is a tough year for every child. As a scholarship student at an expensive academy, it's even tougher for Merci Suarez. Not only does she have to learn to endure middle school where she doesn't always feel she fits in with her classmates, but she also has to start growing up and facing changes. Not just changes in herself, but changes in her family as well. Her brother is getting ready to leave for college and her grandfather is showin...
  • Wendi Lee
    Merci hates change, but sixth grade means other kids are starting to act differently (why are the girls giggling around the boys). She’s paired with a new boy in the Sunshine Club, which gives mean girl Edna ammunition to tease Merci relentlessly. And then there’s Merci’s grandfather, Lolo, who is changing in ways that none of Merci’s family wants to talk about. I loved this middle grade novel, which perfectly captures what it feels like ...
  • Edie
    I loved every minute of my time with Merci and her family a large loving multi-generational family facing the changes in Merci's beloved Lolo, the person in the family who seems to understand her the most. Merci and her brother are the scholarship kids at their private school and she often feels like an outsider, especially around an overbearing classmate. But she holds her own. There is lots of spanish naturally interspersed in this book as it i...
  • Shenwei
    Captures the essence of middle school perfectly: the troubles of fitting in among, the frustration of butting heads with your parents, puberty and the confusing aspects of people around you developing crushes and acting weird. It also tackles classism and the experience of being poor in an environment where everyone else is rich and the alienation that comes with it. I loved or loved to hate the characters and watching Merci grow was satisfying.
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    Eleven-year-old Cuban American Merci Suárez lives in the Palm Beach area of Florida with her parents, and her very smart brother Roli, 17. Right next to them live their Abuela and Abuelo, called Lolo, and right next to them lives Tia Inéz, with her young twins, Axel and Tomás. The three identical houses are affectionately called Las Casitas by Merci's mother.Roli and Merci are scholarship students at a private school. Since their dad and Lolo ...
  • Lori
    Merci attends a private school by doing "community service." Her friend is jealous of her assignment since Merci is assigned to help the friend's "crush." At the same time, Merci's grandfather Lolo, to whom she is quite close, is declining rapidly due to Alzheimer's Disease, and Merci doesn't really understand what is going on due to the family's decision to keep her in the dark. It's a coming-of-age tale which may appeal to middle school readers...
  • Chessa
    I loved Merci Suarez! Meg Medina captures this transitional (middle grade) age so well - we were just playing with the boys last year, why are they suddenly at their own table and girls are...flirting with them, I guess?!? What gives! Medina tackles a lot of big issues here without overwhelming the reader - Merci’s family isn’t as well-off financially as some of the other kids at her private school, where she and her brother attend on scholar...
  • Beth Honeycutt
    Close to 4.5 stars! I enjoyed getting to know Merci, her family, and friends. I also loved the sprinkling of Spanish throughout the book.
  • Meira (readingbooksinisrael)
    *I received this book as an ARC but all thoughts and opinions are my own*This was a good book. Of course, it's from my self proclaimed favorite contemporary genre: MG; Latine-kid-has-life-changes-something-happens-with-grownup-they-rely-on.My favorite thing was that racism wasn’t the setting of this book. Of course, those experiences are important and real, and should be written about but I think it’s just as important to write stories where ...
  • Jana
    I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade fiction novel in exchange for this review. This book tells the story of sixth-grader, Merci Suarez, as she navigates the stresses at home and at school. At home, her grandfather keeps acting strangely and forgetting things, which makes it difficult for her family to take care of him and the younger children at the same time. At school, she has to deal with the changing tid...
  • Adriana Martinez Figueroa
    how dare u make me cry :(--- edited review---Merci Suarez Changes Gears has become one of my favorites of the year. I'd never read a book by Meg Medina and after finishing the book I sought to remedy it, so I already have Burn Baby Burn at the ready for later.In this middle grade, Medina explores the life of a sixth grader named Merci  as she has to live a sort-of double life between her Southern Florida elite private school, Seaward Pines Acad...
  • Ms. Yingling
    E ARC from Netgalley.comMerci lives next door to her grandparents, Abuela and Lolo, and her aunt and younger twin cousins. Her father has a house painting company, and she and her older brother Roli go to a fancy private school on scholarship so that they have every opportunity. Merci finds it a bit difficult to deal with her well-t-o-do classmates, especially the snooty Edna, who is one reason that Merci is saving up her money for a fancy new bi...
  • Rosemary
    Sixth grade Cuban-American Mercedes “Merci” Suárez lives in South Florida with her family in Las Casitas: three houses, side by side, where Merci lives with her brother, Roli, and their parents; her Abuela and Lolo; and her Tía Inéz and her crazy twin 5-year olds, Axel and Tomás. She and Roli also attend an exclusive private school, Seaward Pines. In order to help pay their tuition, Merci has to take part in Sunshine Buddies, a community ...
  • Virginia McGee Butler
    I read Merci Saurez Changes Gears by Meg Medina with an awareness of her writing commitment to the idea of both windows and mirrors for all children to see someone like themselves in books and to strengthen understanding for readers who come from a different world. She did this beautifully in her Ezra Jack Keats Award book Tia Isa Wants a Car and in her young adult books that I have read. In this new book which makes its debut September 11, the w...
  • Kelly Hager
    Merci's life is very family-centric. Part of that is her choice (she loves her family, especially her grandparents) and part of that is the fact that she lives next door to her grandparents and two doors down from her aunt and twin cousins. (They are more than a handful and Merci has to babysit them a lot.) It's not that Merci minds babysitting them so much; it's more that it's expected of her and it also gets in the way of things she wants to do...
  • Laura
    There is something about middle school books and mean girls that just go together. And this book is no exception. But Merci is more than just another protagonist, fighting the good fight against the mean girls of the world. She is also a Cuban-American, who is living with her extended family in Florida, with her beloved grandparents, aunt, and twin cousins. I love how tight she is with her family, that she cares about them. That she wants to do r...
  • Sarina
    I loved, loved, loved, loved this book. I am so honored and glad to have won the ARC in a giveaway, because I’m not sure I would have read it otherwise. Meg Medina had her finger on the pulse of the middle school experience. It’s rare to find a book I felt properly represented what middle school was essentially like, but Merci Suarez Changes Gears nailed it. There were group project struggles (I can relate), low-key rivalries, a budding soc...
  • Debbie Tanner
    I really enjoyed this story about Merci, who lives with her extended family in Palm Beach County, Florida (my hometown!). She's struggling with middle school (a private one that she attends on scholarship), her friends there (there's a relentless bully), boys, and her family-her big brother who is super smart and on his way to college, her young cousins (who are hilarious) and her grandfather who is suffering from Alzheimers. The characters in th...
  • Michele Knott
    So much love for this book. I think a lot of middle grade readers will want to be friends with Merci.
  • Halli Gomez
    Merci Suarez Changes Gears is one of my new favorite middle grade books. It has everything I think is important for all ages: an interesting story, characters you feel deeply about, and issues that affect us all. Having lived in Miami, Florida for almost forty years, I loved being involved in Merci’s Latin family. The family life, food, and culture was woven seamlessly into the story, it’s almost like I was part of her family. This story cove...
  • Psyche Ready
    What a wonderful middle-grade novel! I strongly recommend this to those working with MG and YA readers, and those looking for books with characters of color and/or strong female protagonists, and anyone who loves a good kid’s book about a happy family trying to get through difficult times. Contains discussion of Alzheimer’s.I absolutely love Merci Suarez—she is as clever, courageous, stubborn and as spunky as my favorite female protags from...
  • Sunday Cummins
    “What a kid wants is not part of the formula, as usual, not here and not anywhere.” – Merci Medina has created a beautiful story about a young girl (6th grade) exploring the complexities of relationships, trying to establish for herself and for others who she is or who she is becoming in an ever-evolving web of family and the intricate network of friends (today, but not tomorrow; tomorrow, but not today) at school.There are so many points i...
  • Kelly Zemaitis
    Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina Note: My professional goal for this year is to read 50+ diverse books. As I attempt to read and review these books, I will be answering the following questions for each book:Brief plot summary Merci is a sixth grader in her second year at a private school. Merci and her brother are scholarship students and do not have as much money as the other students. Not only does she have challenges at school, her gra...
  • Leslie
    Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina has earned all the starred reviews: Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Horn Book… What do you add when a book has earned all the stars and all the words you want to hear about when considering a contemporary novel for young readers?Merci Suarez Changes Gears really does have all the things you want and need—and it doesn’t read in a contrived/formulaic way. You wil...
  • Tasha
    Merci’s life starts to really change during sixth grade. She doesn’t fit in at her private school with the other kids, mostly because she is a scholarship student. Her brother Roli seems to be able to fit in naturally thanks to his love of science. As part of her community service for the school, Merci is a Sunshine Buddy. When she is paired with a boy to guide around school, Merci is shocked but opinionated Edna is bothered by how much time ...
  • Jackie
    Entering sixth grade is tricky enough on its own for Merci Suarez, yet she is dealing with other difficult issues, too. Edna Santos, rich and privileged, is snooty to Merci given the fact the Merci and her brother Roli are at their private school tuition free. Edna's jealousy is compounded when Merci is paired with popular, handsome Michael Clark as her Sunshine Buddy. However, the biggest change in the Suarez family is Lolo's rapid decline into ...
  • Jessie
    The biggest overall thread here is change.This is a pretty family-focused book. There's a lot going on with school and friend groups, but Merci and her family are at the heart of the book. Merci's grandfather is changing ((view spoiler)[ He has Alzheimer's. It's pretty clear that something like that is going on, but Merci doesn't recognize it, and her family keeps it a secret from her. (hide spoiler)]), and that's affecting the whole family, incl...