Study Guide

Lupe Algarin in Bronx Masquerade

By Nikki Grimes

Lupe Algarin

Lupe is one of the sweetest kids in Mr. Ward's class, and she always has a kind word for everyone. She's also a bit of a dreamer—girl has a rich fantasy life. For instance, even though her father left her family when she was a little girl, she still imagines him as an amazing and heroic person. And no, her mom doesn't quite agree. Perhaps her most misguided fantasy, though, is about having a baby:

Lately when I look at Rosa, I think I should do like my friend Gloria Martinez. I should make a baby of my own. Maybe that's the answer. (17.12)

Yup, Lupe is in high school and yet she thinks having a baby will solve all her problems. She thinks popping a kid out will give her someone to love who also loves her back. Thing is, what Lupe's not seeing is the downside to her daydream: Yes, babies are adorable, but they're also a whole lot of work (as her friend Gloria tries to tell her).

Luckily for Lupe, by the end of the school year she's put aside baby dreams and moved on to something that's a little easier to handle: college. She starts working hard to achieve her goals so she can make something awesome out of her life. Even her sister is impressed:

Christina says I'm the smart one. "I envy you, Lupe," she told me last night. I could hardly believe my ears. "I wish I had gone to college," she said.

Getting to college takes more than wishing, I can tell you that much. (69.18-19)

Finally, Lupe realizes that some dreams shouldn't come true (or not yet, anyway) and others need a whole lot of help and hard work to make happen. Sure, wishing on stars and daydreaming are fun, but they don't really change anything in the real world. Good thing Lupe's ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work by the time the book ends.