Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
Written by Angela Cervantes

Publisher’s Summary:
Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together. While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!

Primary Source Pairing:
Readers will love this double dose of mystery and art history. Paloma is smart, funny, and determined as she works to solve the mystery of the missing peacock ring. The art and style of Frida Kahlo is almost a character in and of itself in this book. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study one of Frida’s self portraits titled Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. Encourage students to use text evidence in Chapter 3 to discuss the importance of the the thorn necklace.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • In Chapter 3 Paloma says, “A thorn necklace isn’t just a thorn necklace. It means something.” What do you think is the meaning of the necklace?
  • What is interesting to you about Frida Kahlo’s art?
  • What feelings do you have when you study her paintings?
  • What more do want to learn about Frida Kahlo?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird painting by Frida Kahlo, 1940, Posted by Lloyd, Brigitte Gastel. “Portrait of the Artists”.

Related Primary Source Pairing:
Viva Frida, Written and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales