Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Multicultural Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  200

RAC Book:  Yes

Emily Goldberg has been called to Puerto Rico for her grandmother’s funeral.  She has never met her grandmother or anyone else on her mother’s side of the family.  Her mother came to the U.S. to go to college, became a professor, married Emily’s father, and never went home.  Once they get to the funeral, her mother has a difficult time dealing with her estrangment from her family and asks Emily if she will stay with her in Puerto Rico for the summer, while Emily’s dad and brother go home.  Even though she was supposed to go on a road trip with her friends, Emily can’t refuse her mother in this time of need and chooses to stay. 

She finds that not everyone in the family is happy to see them and she learns more about her mother’s estrangement from her family.  Family, knowledge, tradition, and communication are all themes in this story as a family tries to come together after the death of a matriarch.  Emily learns a lot about her heritage and the strength of her mother to fight for what she believes in.

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1 Response to “Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow”


  1. 1 Armando April 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    this is a very good book! light at the beginning but then it gets serious, good way to illustrate how tradition can be oppressive to girls and women.


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