Dancing to Her Own Beat

September 4, 2020
FROM LEFT: STUDIO B SENIORS; STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS

Lupe Wong is half Mexican, half Chinese—or, as she says, “Chinacan” or “Mexinese.” She loves sports and sci-fi. And she absolutely hates the idea of square dancing in gym class. In Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, we follow her campaign to cancel the school’s square-dancing curriculum.

Author Donna Barba Higuera says that some things about Lupe, like her hatred of square dancing, were inspired by Higuera’s two daughters. Others, like Lupe’s Mexican heritage and love of baseball, come from the author herself. Still some things are unique to Lupe. “Once I started writing her, she took on a life of her own,” Higuera says. Sometimes, Lupe even inspired her creator. “As a kid, I had a hard time finding my voice. Lupe doesn’t, even though her voice gets her in trouble sometimes.”

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