Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity

Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity cover
Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

By Angela Velez
Balzer + Bray, 2022
400 pages

Age 13 and older

Peruvian American sisters Lulu and Milagro aren’t exactly close and certainly weren’t planning to spend spring break together. Stellar student and aspiring marine biologist Lulu is going on a school-sponsored trip to visit colleges, intent on acing her interview for a summer program at Stanford while also getting their older sister, college freshman Clara, to help convince their mom to let Lulu go if she gets in. Milagro is looking forward to staying home and sleeping with her boyfriend for the first time. Rocked when she learns he’s cheating, and forced to go on the trip at the last minute, Milagro, smart but uninspired by school, decides having fun with some college boys is the perfect antidote to heartbreak. All the St. Agnes high school girls on the trip are paired with high school boys from St. Anthony’s. Milagro hits it off with her partner, Lucas, a talented musician who is gay. Lulu’s partner is popular, good-looking Leo, with whom she’s sure she has nothing in common. Alternating chapters from Lulu’s and Milagro’s perspectives chronicle a journey that covers many miles, numerous escapades, a developing romance between Lulu and Leo, and the deepening mystery surrounding Clara, who is clearly harboring some secrets. Punctuated by sharply funny observations and witty dialogue, this delightful, insightful work that also examines some of the challenges of first-generation college students is a story of discovery and self-discovery in which revelations and realizations for both sisters strengthen their relationship, and the bonds within their family.  ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center