The Summer of El Pintor
An engaging mystery for young adults that touches on themes of ethnicity and class.
by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman
Publication Date: 2001
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 & up
In The Summer of El Pintor, the small shops and battered houses of Lucia Street are a far cry from the upper crust neighborhood and the posh boarding school Monica Ramos has left behind when she moves to the barrio. Monica looks up and down the street from the dilapidated house that was her mother’s childhood home and decides unhappily that this will be a summer that she will never forget. She is right, in part. She doesn’t realize, though, that the miserable summer that she expects will be quite an adventure.
From the moment Monica discovers a mysterious letter in a musty hiding place forgotten since her mother’s death, she is drawn into a web of questions surrounding the disappearance of her neighbor, El Pintor. Why did he live on her grandparents’ property free of charge? Why did he paint portraits of her mother and the ruins on Chimney Hill? Why are all the young people in the barrio so intrigued by him?
Monica is soon drawn into the search for El Pintor, the mysterious man who Monica believes holds the secret to her mother’s past.
“Fast-paced, poignant and vivid, with an appealing romantic side plot, this uplifting novel is sure to captivate readers looking for a swift, satisfying pleasure read.”—Booklist
OFELIA DUMAS LACHTMAN was born in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents. She has written four other novels for young adults: The Trouble with Tessa (Piñata Books, 2005), Call Me Consuelo (Piñata Books, 1997), Leticia’s Secret (Piñata Books, 1997), and The Girl from Playa Blanca (Piñata Books, 1995). She continues to live and work in Los Angeles.
ATOS Interest Level: Upper/Middle Grades
Category: Young Adult
ATOS English: 4.7
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 54651