The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez
Life is confusing for Mateo Martinez.
He and Johnny Ramirez don’t hang out anymore, even though they used to be best friends. He and his new friend Ashwin try to act like brave, old-time knights, but it only gets them in trouble. And last night, two skunks stole Mateo’s old trike.
Wait—two skunks stole his trike?
Mateo is too big for that rusty kid toy. He has a cool, shiny new bike anyway. But Mateo also has a neighborhood to protect. And he’s about to begin a big, stinky quest to catch the thieves in the middle of the night!
As Mateo protects his neighborhood, he also learns a few things about growing up and letting go.
“Take this oath: I, [state your name], will do good, fight for those in need, and read The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez.”—Adam Rex, author of the Cold Cereal Saga
|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 6|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|Category||Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Carolrhoda Books ®|
|Number of Pages||184|
|Reading Counts! Level||4.4|
- New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
- Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Books of the Year
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This is an odd but satisfying little story with an endearing hero and perhaps even more endearing skunks. . . . Yardi deftly reins in some of the goofiness in exchange for dramatic tension and emotional heft.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[A]n imaginative backyard adventure with light touches of fantasy. . . . Mateo is an admirable character striving to live by a knight’s code of honor. . . . His gallantry . . . and antics with the neighborhood wildlife make for quite the charming tale.”—Booklist
School Library Journal
“In this debut novel, Yardi draws parallels between the fantasy world of talking animals and Mateo’s reality of growing up and finding himself. . . . A fun, action-filled tale whose protagonist has a distinct and sincere young voice. Recommended for collections and libraries that serve a lower middle grade population.”—School Library Journal
“Picture book author Yardi . . . in her first novel, delivers an entertaining story of sibling loyalty, friendship struggles, and the sometimes vexing passage into adolescence.”—Publishers Weekly
“Utilizing a gentle sense of humor and incisive insight, the author negotiates Mateo’s developing identity with aplomb, especially his Mexican-American heritage. . . . A magnificent novel that defines what it is to be an older brother, a friend, and, yes, even a knight.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews