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Pardalita cover


School Library Journal Best of the Year
BCCB Best of the Year (Blue Ribbon Selection)

A beautiful slice-of-life story that is This One Summer meets Ursula K. Le Guin’s Very Far Away from Anywhere Else, told in flashbacks

16-year-old Raquel lives in a small town in Portugal, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her parents are divorced and she’s just been suspended for cursing out a school aide asking about her father’s new marriage. She has two best friends, Luísa and Fred, but wants something more. Then, from afar, she sees Pardalita, a senior and a gifted artist who’s moving to Lisbon to study in the fall. The two girls get to know each other while working on a play. And Raquel falls in love.

Using a gorgeous blend of prose poems, illustrations, and graphic novel format, author and artist Joana Estrela captures the feeling of being a teenager in a way that feels gentle, joyful, and real.


★ “Intimate…Through a fledgling queer romance, the creator presents a story of change, connection, and transformation.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

★ "The elegant simplicity of this book belies the artistic depth and emotional resonance contained within. Will leave readers in quiet, piercing satisfaction."
Booklist (starred)

★ “A leisurely, emotional stroll through a slice-of-life story that explores identity and sexuality in an authentically sweet and subtle way.”
School Library Journal (starred)

★ “The writing style is intriguing and deliberate...the slice-of-life approach working perfectly with Estrela’s creative vision in switching up formats to best convey Raquel’s intense and powerful self-discovery…this tender, warm book will likely enchant all romantic fans.”
BCCB (starred)

“Effectively conveys adolescent turmoil, the heady intoxication of first love, and sweet moments of connection as young queer love blossoms. The book’s strength lies in its careful presentation of telling details. Quietly resonant and sincerely told.”
Kirkus Reviews

Joana Estrela was born in Penafield, Portugal in 1990. She started drawing family portraits at an early age, writing funny subtitles to go along with. Her methods haven’t changed a lot since—what motivates her to start a book is still the joy that comes with it. She is a graduate of the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto and has won awards in her home country for both her picture books and her graphic novels.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann is an author, translator, teacher, and librarian. Her books for teens and young readers include Gringolandia, Surviving Santiago, Rogue, and She Persisted: Temple Grandin. As an adult, she was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and delves into her diagnosis often in her writing. She lives in New York City.

ISBN: 9781646142552

ISBN-10: 9781646142552

Publisher: Levine Querido

Publication Date: 04/18/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 04/18/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 224

Language: English


Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Coming of Age

Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ+

Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance