Evangelina Takes Flight


This engaging historical novel for teens traces a family’s flight from the violence of the Mexican Revolution to a new life in the U.S.

by Diana J. Noble

ISBN: 978-1-55885-848-0
Publication Date: May 31, 2017
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 152
Ages: 11-14


“If they do come here, they’ll show us no mercy,” thirteen-year-old Evangelina overhears her father say as she gathers eggs in the chicken pen. Back at the house, Mamá brushes away her fears of revolutionaries. There are even more chores than usual to be done at Rancho Encantado because her sister’s quinceañera celebration is rapidly approaching!

It’s the summer of 1911 in northern Mexico, and soon the de León family learns that the rumors of soldiers in the region are true.  Evangelina’s father decides they must leave their home to avoid the violence. The trip north to a small town on the U.S. side of the border is filled with fear and anxiety as they worry about loved ones left behind and the uncertain future ahead.

Life in Texas is confusing, though the signs in shop windows that say “No Mexicans” and some people’s reactions to them are all-too clear. At school, she encounters the same puzzling resentment. The teacher wants to give the Mexican children lessons on basic hygiene! And one girl in particular delights in taunting the foreign-born students. Why can’t people understand that—even though she’s only starting to learn English—she’s just like them?

With the help and encouragement of the town’s doctor and the attentions of a handsome boy, Evangelina begins to imagine a new future for herself. This moving historical novel introduces teens to the tumultuous times of the Mexican Revolution and the experiences of immigrants, especially Mexican Americans, as they adjust to a new way of life.

Named a Junior Library Guild selection
Winner, 2018 Tejas Foco YA Fiction Award
Winner, 2017 June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children
Included in Southwest Books of the Year 2017

“Using the first person with Spanish sprinkled throughout, Noble propels the novel with vivid imagery and lovely prose, successfully guiding readers behind an immigrant family’s lens. Loosely based on Noble’s own grandmother’s story, this debut hits awfully close to home in the current anti-immigrant political climate.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Written in Evangelina’s conscientious voice and containing parallels to some of today’s current events, this hopeful, yet sometimes heartbreaking, novel is a fast and important read.”—Booklist

“Honest in its exploration of xenophobia, and timely in its empathetic portrayal of a refugee family, Evangelina Takes Flight is a vibrant and appealing historical novel.”—Foreword Reviews

“Noble’s poetic yet accessible prose allows the reader to slip into Evangelina’s world and understand that problems can be overcome with perseverance and bravery.”—Latinxs in Kid Lit

A native of Laredo, Texas, DIANA J. NOBLE is a human resources specialist for the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. This is her first published book, which is based on the life of her paternal grandmother and stories of her own childhood.

Click here to listen to an interview with Diana J. Noble about Evangelina Takes Flight.

ATOS Interest Level: Middle/Upper Grades