Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review: The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre


by Reina Luz Alegre
Simon & Schuster
Upper Middle Grade Contemporary
272 pages
ages 10 to 12

Twelve-year-old Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From startup companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.

So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother José will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her Mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!

After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together…until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare.

Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.

GOODREADS   /   KOBO   /    BOOK DEPOSITORY    /     AMAZON    /    B&N


This is a read with tons of heart, which puts family, friends and dreams at the center and demonstrates that fighting for something is a magic all on its own.

Zoey has moved around. A lot. Her father constantly tries to achieve his latest dream, and while Zoey does find this neat, it's also take a toll on her and her older brother. While staying at Poppy's, she finally meets someone who might be a real friend, but there are other problems already mounting, especially on the financial end. Add her brother's up-coming college years and her father's latest dream chase, and her job to hold everyone together might just become impossible after all.

There are so many good things about this book. Zoey is, firstly, a girl with tons of energy and heart. Despite her difficult past (loss of mother and constant moves), she's got both feet on the ground, has a very good grip on people, and sees what needs to be done. But, of course, she makes mistakes. She's definitely a character to love and root for. Then, there's the setting of beaches and bowling, which already lure in. Zoey's family is golden, too. Each one has a loving personalities and their rough spots. They fight, and yet, keep the bonds...even though the one with the father is strained. It's a lovely mix and well done.

I'd place this one for upper middle graders more, thanks to some of the interactions and scenes. The book begins with Zoey starting her period, which I'm not a fan of, especially since it's presented a little overly dramatic (like so often lately in middle grade books) and just adds to girl's tensions unnecessarily. But that's just me. Also, I sometimes Zoey 's friends acted older than their age. But the book definitely stayed, otherwise, in the middle grade realm.

This is a lovely read for anyone who enjoys realistic moments, great settings, and a girl with heart and determination. There's a lot of warmth and family in these pages, and it definitely makes a lovely, summer read.

And here she is...

Reina Luz Alegre lives in the Miami area with her family. She’s dreamed 

of becoming an author since the second grade, and grew up to work on various 

other professional dreams—including as a freelance journalist and lawyer—

before debuting her first novel, The Dream Weaver. When she’s not writing, 

Reina loves to read, sing, and salivate over baking shows. Follow her on 


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