Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

The Other Side of the River Review by Alda Dobbs and Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m super excited to share Alda Dobb’s new historical MG The Other Side of the River. When Alda emailed me and asked me if I wanted an ARC in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance because I loved her debut book, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. You can read my interview with Alda when she debuted here.

Here’s a blurb of The Other Side of the River from Goodreads:

From the award-winning author of Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, Alda P. Dobbs, comes a compelling new novel about building a new life in America. Strong and determined, Petra Luna returns in a story about the immigrant experience that continues to be relevant today.

Petra Luna is in America, having escaped the Mexican Revolution and the terror of the Federales. Now that they are safe, Petra and her family can begin again, in this country that promises so much. Still, twelve-year-old Petra knows that her abuelita, little sister, and baby brother depend on her to survive. She leads her family from a smallpox-stricken refugee camp on the Texas border to the buzzing city of San Antonio, where they work hard to build a new life. And for the first time ever, Petra has a chance to learn to read and write.

Yet Petra also sees in America attitudes she thought she'd left behind on the other side of the Río Grande―people who look down on her mestizo skin and bare feet, who think someone like her doesn't deserve more from life. Petra wants more. Isn't that what the revolution is about? Her strength and courage will be tested like never before as she fights for herself, her family, and her dreams.

Petra's first story, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, was a New York Public Library Book of the Year and a Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection.

My Review

The Other Side of the River tells Petra’s story after her family and she arrive in San Antonio. You do not have to read Alda’s first book to enjoy this one. I devoured it in two sittings. I totally loved it and can’t wait to read Alda’s next book.

Here are five things I really enjoyed about this book.

  1. The setting. I loved learning more about San Antonio in the early 1900s, especially since I’ve visited there on a few occasions. It was so interesting to see what life was like for immigrants coming here from Mexico. They sure didn’t have it easy.
  2. Riveting story. Historical fiction has to be factually accurate. But it also has to tell a compelling story. I found The Other Side of the River to be a page-turner because the story and plot were so good.
  3. Petra. I already loved Peter from Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. I love her even more in this story and so admire her tenacity, courage, and strength as she tried to take care of her family and follow her dreams of a new life in America. When I start to get down about my own problems and challenges, I think about all the hardships she and other immigrants have faced and face today.
  4. Secondary characters. Alda did a fantastic job creating a cast of secondary characters. I enjoyed learning more about her abuelita, younger sister, baby brother, and other characters that helped and hindered her in her attempts to take care of her family.
  5. Ending. I’m not going to spoil things for you by telling you the ending. I’ll just say that the ending was a great one.

 Giveaway Details

 I’m offering my ARC of The Other Side of the River for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by October 8th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter s, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. The ARC giveaway is U.S.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.         

Upcoming Interviews and Guest Posts

Wednesday, October 5th, I’m participating in the Howloween Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, October 5th, I have an interview with debut author Kim Bartosch and a giveaway of her YA mystery/ghost story Ask the Girl

Monday, October 16th, I have an agent spotlight interview with Sarah Stephens and a query critique giveaway

Sunday, October 16th, I’m participating in the Cheeky Pumpkin Giveaway Hop

Monday, October 17th, I have an agent spotlight interview with Eve Adler and a query critique giveaway

Monday, October 24th, I have a guest post by debut author George Jreije and a giveaway of his MG fantasy Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria 

Hope to see you on Wednesday, October 5th!




nashvillecats2 said...

What a wonderful title of a book. It seems to be a wonderful read. Thanks for sharing this Natalie.
Have a good new week and take care.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sounds like a great second novel! I love the colorful cover.

Danielle H. said...

I enjoy reading historical fiction and from your review, I'm going to love this one. Thank you for sharing your ARC! I follow you on Twitter and shared on tumblr: https://at.tumblr.com/yesreaderwriterpoetmusician/the-other-side-of-the-river-review-by-alda-dobbs/9v9rsupa980u

Linda Browne said...

Thanks for the review, Natalie. It looks like I'll have another title to add to the growing stack on my bedside table, which is really the best kind of decor.

Valinora Troy said...

I've read great reviews of both these books, they sound really good, and Petra a wonderful character.

Brenda said...

Read and loved Petra's story too. No need to enter me. Have a lovely week.

Carol Baldwin said...

Sounds great. I shared on Twitter and FB and follow your blog.

Patricia T. said...

What a great book about early immigrants from Mexico -- a different angle that I am anxious to learn about. Your review really made me want to read the book. Will check out the first one. Both books have garnered a lot of awards! That's great! Have also been to San Antonio and realize the importance of the culture there.

Greg Pattridge said...

Historical fiction is my favorite to read, especially when done right.I will for sure be reading both books in the near future so thank you for the recommend.

Liz A. said...

Sounds like a great book.

Eileen said...

This is the second good review of The Other Side of the River that I've read in two days. Looking forward to reading it myself, and to my 12YO daughter reading it!

Angie Quantrell said...

This sounds like a great book! I have not read the first one, which also sounds very good. Thanks, Natalie!

I tweeted your post. Looking forward to what you have scheduled!


Computer Tutor said...

Congratulations for what sounds like an interesting book.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fun cover and great review!

Tonja Drecker said...

What a nice review! I have a soft spot for historical, and this one does sound interesting.

tetewa said...

I have been to San Antonio, loved the riverwalk and visited the Alamo. Congrats on your release, would love to get a copy! tWarner419@aol.com

Sandra Cox said...

It sounds like a wonderful story and so dismaying that after all this time we aren't more accepting of others than we are.

Samantha Bryant said...

Sounds like a great book!

Rosi said...

I do love historical fiction, and this one sounds like one I need to read. I appreciate great secondary characters in a book. They make for a much richer read. Thanks for the review and the chance to win a copy.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Adding this one to my reading list :)

Nancy P said...

Following on several platforms. positive.ideas.4youATgmail.com

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I am late to this post since I've been super busy, but I'm glad I made it in time to read this wonderful review. This sounds like a fantastic book. I'll pass on the giveaway, but I know sooner or later i am going to read this book. It's so timely and important.