Friday, February 1, 2019 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

Sixteen-year-old Martha and her mother move constantly, never staying anywhere for long. So she knows better than to ask if they’ve been evicted again when her mom says they’re going on a “vacation” to meet the grandmother Martha didn’t know existed.

Laredo, Texas, is like no other city she has seen. Driving past businesses with Spanish names and colorfully painted houses with burnt lawns, Martha can’t imagine her mother living somewhere so … Mexican. At her grandmother’s pink house, she’s shocked and hurt when her mom abandons her, even though a part of her had been expecting it.

Suddenly Martha must deal with a way of life that is completely foreign. Her grandmother doesn’t speak English, so communication is difficult, and she’s not the typical, sweet grandma who dotes on her grandchildren. Even weirder, it turns out that her grandmother is revered as a healer, or curandera. And there are tons of cousins, aunts and uncles all ready to embrace her!

At her new school, Martha can’t be anonymous like before because everyone knows she’s Doña González’s granddaughter. Meanwhile, a girl who has it out for her makes things unpleasant. As Martha struggles to adjust to her new life, she can’t help but wonder why her mother left Laredo. No one is willing to discuss it, so she’ll have to unravel the secret herself.

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018

“Debut novelist Temblador has created an unforgettable character in Martha, a girl whose gifts are greater than she could have imagined, in part because they belong to a world she never could have imagined. The novel introduces young readers to a Mexican community that maintains its roots in its Indigenous bloodlines. A suspenseful and fascinating glimpse into a Mexican-American world.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Temblador depicts Martha as a frustrated teenager who loves and respects the people around her while finding a newfound feeling of purpose and belonging when she assimilates into her community as her highly respected grandmother's apprentice. It addresses the hard reality that nobody is perfect, even our guardians, and the slightly ambiguous conclusion is tantalizingly open to interpretation.”—Booklist

“Alex Temblador’s magical Secrets of the Casa Rosada … is a fascinating story with a strong protagonist and a glimpse at some unique aspects of traditional Mexican culture.”—Foreword Reviews

Alex Temblador is a freelance travel writer, a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, she lives and works in Dallas. This is her debut novel.

Secrets of the Casa Rosada Cover Image
ISBN: 9781558858701
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pinata Books - October 31st, 2018