American Girl Wiki

Juan Montoya[1] is a nephew of Josefina Montoya.

Personality and Facts[]

Juan is Ana and Tomás's son and the older of her two sons; by the end of the series, he is five years old. Through much of the series, he is generally seen through his mother Ana's talk of him and his brother. He is childlike and often hungry, but also very clever; he and Josefina manage together to gather more nuts than anyone after working together with his and her suggestions. He is lively and smart and by the end of the series is a little more mature than his younger brother Antonio, but is still a child; for example, he is allowed to set his shoes out during Three Kings Day, but since this is not his first time he does not eat his treats as quickly.

At the end of the Central series, he and his family have gone to Santa Fe; he is to be educated by the priests.

In the Books[]

Meet Josefina: An American Girl[]

Juan and Antonio are mentioned when Ana hopes that Abuelito has brought shoes for the two of them.

Josefina Learns a Lesson[]

Ana had not yet started on her dress because she is sewing vests for her sons.

Changes for Josefina: A Winter Story[]

Antonio and Juan wake Josefina up to tell her that the saints had put treats in their shoes. When Antonio complains that his shoe is too small, Juan shushes him and says Antonio ate his treats too fast.

Juan and Antonio gets excited about the fiesta, but are discouraged when Clara says it might be cancelled due to the weather. Josefina tries to cheer them up and sends them back to their room they share with their parents. Antonio and Juan are later supposed to sweep up the snow, but end up using their brooms to play with it. Papa mentions they should stop them but Tia Dolores says not to as they were running around in the kitchen asking for cookies repeatedly. Antonio and Juan are excited about their Abuelito and Abuelita coming over to visit, and Abuelita mentions she thinks that the boys should be educated by the priests in Santa Fe. When Josefina and Abuelita were playing games with the brothers, Abuelita mentions she will miss the boys when she leaves, inspiring Josefina to have Ana go to Santa Fe in Dolores' place.

He, along with Ana and the rest of his family, move to Santa Fe, where he will be educated by the priests.

A Reward for Josefina[]


Papá asks Juan (and Josefina) to stay behind and protect the lunch.

Juan accompanies the family to the mountains to go harvest piñon nuts; he is small and rides the mule, and his legs stick out on either side.

When Andres says that he and Josefina will stay behind at the clearing rather than going to harvest nuts, he is upset and wails that he wants to go harvest and win the reward--something that Josefina is thinking to herself. Andres tells him that his task is to help guard the lunch, a very important task; Juan hears Josefina agree and complies. After the others leave, he lays next to his younger brother Antonio on a blanket Carmen lays out for them and naps.

After Josefina accidentally wakes up Antonio, Juan wakes up as well; Josefina must stay behind with him while Carmen goes to take Antonio to Ana to nurse and Miguel takes the mule to drink. Once it's the two of them, Juan complains that he's hungry and Josefina says he's always hungry and they have to wait for the others to get back from harvesting piñon nuts. Juan says he wants to harvest nuts too and when told they don't have a sack, says they can use the one from lunch and starts to fiddle with it; Josefina, realizing that he's going to be bothersome unless she helps him harvest, unpacks their lunch from the sack and they go to look for nuts. Juan dashes about and leaps onto every piñon he sees, but even after finding every one around them, the sack is still pitifully empty. He suggests to Josefina that she shake a tree and though that only makes a few fall, it does give her the idea to climb up into the tree and bounce to shake nuts down. She does this, Juan gathering the nuts, for several trees, until they are further away from the clearing.


Josefina throws the found stash of piñon nuts down to Juan.

When Josefina spots the squirrel eating at their lunch, she tells Juan to run back quickly; his legs are too small and he doesn't move quickly, and the squirrel doesn't run from him. When the squirrel steals part of lunch and darts up a tree, Juan calls it bad and a thief. Josefina soon realizes--after seeing the squirrel with a piñon--that there is perhaps a store of nuts in the squirrel's hole, and tells Juan to get the sack while she climbs up. She is right, and throws handfuls down while Juan holds his hands out and grins as they rain down around him.

He and Josefina lay lunch out for the others, and Tiá Dolores praises the two of them for it. After Papa judges the bags the others have and is about to say who won, Josefina interrupts him and asks for their bag to be checked, which she and Juan point at together--the largest by far, and filled to the top with piñon nuts. Andres declares them the winners of the reward and tries to locate the reward but it is missing--a piloncillo (little cone of hard brown sugar)--and wonders what happened to it. Josefina and Juan grin and Juan says a squirrel stole it, followed by Josefina saying it's okay, since they took its stash of nuts. Tiá Dolores hugs them both and says she is proud of their cleverness.

Secrets in the Hills[]

The Glowing Heart[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 In many Spanish-speaking countries, children are given two last names, with the father's first last name first and the mother's second. (See Spanish naming customs on Wikipedia). However for the purposes of Wiki categorization both Juan and Antonio are listed with the last name "Montoya," as Tomás's last names are unknown.