Lolo & Red-Legs

by Kirk Reeve

When Lolo finds a tarantula near the fort that he and his two best friends have built... read more

When Lolo finds a tarantula near the fort that he and his two best friends have built in their East Los Angeles neighborhood, his grandfather helps him catch it. His mother won't let him keep it at home, but with the help of a nearby pet store owner, Lolo makes a suitable den in an oversized pickle jar and keeps the spider at the fort. Lolo is quiet, but he enjoys the interest that others take in Red-Legs, and in him by association, from his sixth-grade classmate Lisa to the pet store owner, Mr. Verdugo, who asks if he can take Red-Legs to the county fair and invites Lolo to go along--an invitation that will mean Lolo's first trip out of the neighborhood in which he has spent his entire life. But when some older boys whom Lolo and his friends taunted destroy the fort, Red-Legs disappears. Lolo doesn't know if she was stolen or if she is dead, only that his heart is broken. A novel set in the Latino neighborhood of East Los Angeles known as Las Lomitas is distinguished by its appealing characters and strong sense of place. Spanish langauge words and phrases used in the region are woven into the simple but captivating storyline. Many can be defined in context, but a glossary is also provided. (Ages 9-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

show less