3.44 (1,543 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Loteria, the spellbinding literary debut by Mario Alberto Zambrano, a young girl tells the story of her family's tragic demise using a deck of cards of the eponymous Latin American game of chance.

With her older sister Estrella in the ICU and her father in jail, eleven-year-old Luz Castillo has been taken into the custody of the state. Alone in her room, she retreats behind a wall of silence, writing in her journal and shuffling through a deck of loteria cards. Each of the cards' colorful images--mermaids, bottles, spiders, death, and stars--sparks a random memory.

Pieced together, these snapshots bring into focus the joy and pain of the young girl's life, and the events that led to her present situation. But just as the story becomes clear, a breathtaking twist changes everything.

Beautiful full-color images of loteria cards are featured throughout this intricate and haunting novel.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 127 x 182.88 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062268554
  • 9780062268556
  • 1,070,861

Review quote

"Zambrano's stellar debut is proof positive that good things come in small packages."--Booklist(starred review)
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Back cover copy

Struggling to cope as her family falls apart, eleven-year-old Luz Maria Castillo retreats into her beloved set of loteria cards--a Mexican game featuring riddles and vibrant images. Each card represents a different memory, and as Luz shuffles through the deck, she weaves her recollections into a compelling story of love, loyalty, tragedy, and hope.

By turns affecting and inspiring, Loteria is a powerful novel that heralds the arrival of an outstanding writer, one who reminds us of the importance of remembering even when we are trying to forget.
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Rating details

1,543 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 13% (208)
4 34% (523)
3 38% (591)
2 12% (182)
1 3% (39)
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