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16-year-old Raquel lives in a small town in Portugal, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her parents are divorced and she’s just been suspended for cursing out a school aide asking about her father’s new marriage. She has two best friends, Luísa and Fred, but wants something more.
Then, from afar, she sees Pardalita, a senior and a gifted artist who’s moving to Lisbon to study in the fall. The two girls get to know each other while working on a play. And Raquel falls in love.
From author/artist Joana Estrela comes Pardalita, a beautiful slice-of-life story that is This One Summer meets Ursula K. Le Guin’s Very Far Away from Anywhere Else, told in flashbacks and present day action. Using a gorgeous blend of prose poems, illustrations, and graphic novel format, Estrela captures the feeling of being a teenager in a way that feels gentle, joyful, and real.
About the Author
Joana Estrela was born in Penafiel, Portugal in 1990. She started drawing family portraits at an early age, writing funny subtitles to go along with them. Her methods haven’t changed a lot since—what motivates her to start a book is still the joy that comes with it. She is a graduate of the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto and has won awards in her home country for both her picture books and her graphic novels.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann is an author, translator, and teacher. Her books for teens and younger readers include Gringolandia, Rogue, Torch, She Persisted: Temple Grandin, and the verse novel Moonwalking, co-authored with Zetta Elliott. She translates picture books and middle grade novels from Portuguese to English. She lives in New York City.