Cover image for Quinceañera : celebrating fifteen
Quinceañera : celebrating fifteen
King, Elizabeth, 1953-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
40 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Focuses on describing the celebration of this rite of passage in the life of a specific Mexican American girl, while also presenting historical background for the occasion.
Reading Level:
1040 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 1.0 28261.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT2490 .K56 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



You are invited to the biggest party of Cindy Chavez's life. In text and gorgeous color photos, Elizabeth King takes us to this joyous, once-in-a-lifetime event'the quincea'era.It is the celebration of a Latina's fifteenth birthday, a coming-of-age ritual in which a community welcomes its newest adult member with a church service, a feast, and dancing. The tradition, which has its roots in Aztec and Mexican custom, is popular in the United States. With a lavish dress, an honor court of friends, a big cake, and a night filled with music, the quincea'era is a chance for a young woman to feel like a queen. But there are solemn, quiet moments, too, particularly at the Mass held before the party.The history, significance, and fun of the quincea'era are warmly recounted in this lovely book. It is an inviting glimpse at a part of American culture for newcomers to the tradition, and a special scrapbook for those anticipating or remembering their own quincea'eras.Also available in Spanish!Quincea'era celebrando los quince

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Like a bat mitzvah or a sweet-16 party, the quinceanera is a coming-of-age ritual, and it takes place in the context of a Latina's family and church. Its origins come from Aztec and Mexican customs transmuted through Spanish and Latino celebration. In fulsome prose, King follows and photographs two beautiful young women, Cindy Chavez and Suzi Prieto, as they prepare for turning 15. Cindy's family is from El Salvador and Suzi's from Mexico, so many of their choices for this combination party, religious event, and family festival are different, but both hold the religious part of their ceremony at the historic San Fernando Mission in California. King is careful to describe many variants on a celebration that may include a gorgeous dress, flowers, and a cake; a role for parents, godparents, friends, and classmates; and a special mass to welcome the young woman to adulthood. The photographs are so full of spectacle and genuine warmth that we feel as though we have been invited, too. Girls dreaming of their own coming-of-age parties will find lots to exclaim over. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-9-This title is available in both English and in Spanish. With an informative but at times cloying text, King describes two California quinceañera celebrations from the initial planning stages to the last dances. Accompanied by an interesting mixture of candid and posed full-color photographs, the author details the fiestas of one young woman whose family is originally from El Salvador and another who is of Mexican heritage. The origins of this coming-of-age ritual are explained in an appended note. Mary D. Lankford and Jesse Herrera's Quinceañera (Millbrook, 1994) covers much of the same ground in a shorter, less dramatic, and more readable narrative. However, King's photographs are of a higher quality than Herrera's mostly black-and-white images.-Denise E. Agosto, formerly at Midland County Public Library, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.