• Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

  • By: Tehlor Kay Mejia
  • Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Paola Santiago and the River of Tears  By  cover art

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

By: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents author Tehlor Kay Mejia and her thrilling fantasy adventure based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona (the Crying Woman).

Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It's all they've heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother's humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it's the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right....

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend, she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.

©2020 Tehlor Kay Mejia (P)2020 Listening Library

What listeners say about Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great new middle grade book

I love how this book combines elements of magic and science. In my opinion, magic is just science we dont understand yet. While others might think that magic and science have to be in contrast with each other, this book proves that they don't have to be. I really like how much the characters in this story are developed. The author's in depth scene settings and descriptions make it easy to understand why Pao and Dante fear the chancla. I would too, man. The interactions between Pao and Dante are cute, as they're at that age where you're not always screaming about cooties and you're just starting to discover that you like others in a romantic way. I'm rooting for them! No idea what their ship name would be though 🤔

This book had me hooked from start to finish, can't wait to see its big screen adaptation (Eva Longoria announced that she is handling that ) and the sequel - Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares. 2021 can't come soon enough (for more reasons than one).

As a seperate note, I listened this book in an audiobook format. Frankie Corzo put on a great performance and I hope that they keep her as the narrator for the next book. She really helped bring the characters to life.

3 people found this helpful

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I Loved this story!

I loved the characters in "Paola Santiago and the River of Tears." I'd never heard the La Llorona folklore before, so the tie in with Paola's discovery of her gift as "the dreamer," was an awesome way to be introduced to the tale.

I was really able to indentify with Paola not speaking much Spanish. Growing up in the 1940s, both of my parents were discouraged, and sometimes punished for speaking Spanish. I think that was a big part of the reason they chose not to speak Spanish with us. I remember growing up and having people assume that I spoke spanish because of my brown skin and last name. My boss had asked me if I could translate once, and was shocked that I didn't speak Spanish. He was of German descent, and I asked him if he spoke German, to which he replied, "No." That wasn't the first time I'd had that conversation, and it wouldn't be the last.

I'm not sure why I just shared that little snippet of my life, but this story brought up those memories of growing up as a Mexican American girl with identity conflicts thrust on me. I love seeing more Latina authors and more Latina heroes. I'm looking forward to reading more from Tehlor Kay Mejia.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

I loved both the familiar and the unfamiliar of this book. Written glowingly and read beautifully, I appreciated how Paola learned to embrace her culture, much like I did. I hated being brown, and not having money, but later, I understood the sacrifices made by my elders, and I learned to celebrate the beauty of my culture...only it took me much longer than it did Paola. I appreciate the reader knowing the language and using correct pronunciation. This adult got more out of it now than I would have as a child, tween or teen.

2 people found this helpful

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loved this book!

I was drawn into this story from the very beginning. I didn't really know anything about Mexican folklore before reading this book and I really enjoyed reading about it.

Paola, Dante, and Emma are such a strong friend group. I love their loyalty to each other and the strong bonds they have with each other. No matter what obstacles got in Pao's way to slow her down or get her off course, she never lost focus from getting to her friends. I loved all three of these characters, as well as Paola's little companion, Bruto.

I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

The narrator, Frankie Corzo, was fantastic! She had distinct voices for each of the characters and did a great job of bringing them to life. She was a joy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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great book!

it was wonderfully written and narrated! it lives up to the rick riordan standard. I will be definitely be relistening to this one.

1 person found this helpful

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Great message and interesting mythology

I really appreciated the message about forgiveness woven into the story. Very interesting mythology, and the cutest chupacabra ever.

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Enjoyable

New hero's. New folklore to read up on. Different then Rick's style but still very good!

1 person found this helpful