March 2024 Tween Book Club The Last Cuentista by Donna Barbra Higuera
Cover image of book The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? (Summary from Goodreads)

This is an amazing science fiction book that is set primarily in space, but explores deep questions, such as the value of stories in a world that values science, and the importance of holding on to one's identity in the face of hardship and erasure. This is an excellent modern introduction to science fiction for tween readers!

How These Live Book Clubs Work

Participation in the live book club includes access to a set of resources and activities as well as interactive components.

Participants receive

  • A suggested reading schedule
  • PDF reading guides with comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary/reading activities
  • Discussion board posts in our online classroom
  • Writing/multimodal project prompts related to the reading
  • An invitation to a live discussion
  • A recording of the summary of the live discussion
  • An optional feedback add-on for the final paper/project
  • Rubrics for at-home feedback

Families are welcome to use as much or as little of the suggested resources and activities as they'd like to fit their interest and schedules.


10 - 13


March 1 - 31, 2024

Live Meeting:

There are two options for attending a live meeting for this club. An afternoon/evening option is offered to accommodate people with different schedules. Please only attend one of these meetings.

A video summary presentation will be made available for those unable to attend the live meeting. To protect participant privacy, recordings of the meetings will not be distributed to anyone who did not attend the meeting.

Note: meetings with fewer than 3 attendees may run a bit shorter depending on how participation goes.

Option 1:

March 28, 2024 (Thursday)

7:00 PM Eastern / 6:00 PM Central / 5:00 PM Mountain / 4:00 PM Pacific Time

Option 2:

March 29, 2024 (Friday)

1:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Central / 11:00 AM Mountain / 10:00 AM Pacific Time


A copy of the book The Last Cuentista (Edition information here, audiobook available). Borrowed, used, and audio formats will work.

  • Zoom account for live session
  • Microphone and camera for live session (optional)
  • PDF reader
  • Access to printer if you want to print worksheets

Content Note:

Existential dread (destruction of Earth, humanity trying to survive, loss of family, identity), family conflict, death of background characters, stolen memories/amnesia. Children needing to outwit adults with power.

This book is generally appropriate for tween readers, but includes some intense emotions and situations that may benefit from sensitive conversations about deep topics to help with reflection. As my last tween book this year, it was chosen to be a capstone for my book selections and will present a little more challenge to readers.

Positive representation:

Latina protagonist, Latina and Latino scientists, disability representation, humanities representation

Choose a Pricing Option