books and reading

Clap When You Land

Title: Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: YA fiction

When I read With the Fire on High last month, I knew Elizabeth Acevedo was an author who deserved further investigation. I thought that book was fantastic. And I’ve heard so many great things about this one, so I put it on hold at my library in eager anticipation. Little did I know, this was a novel in verse. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know if it was a style I would enjoy, but I ended up really hooked. What a wonderful story.

From Goodreads: Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

The horror each girl faces losing their father is pretty terrible. But on top of that, they learn of each other. How their father had two separate families, two separate lives. The knowledge is undoing. How can either reconcile the knowledge of the other, while trying to survive their loss? The style of verse is just gorgeous. It is minimal and choppy when it needs to be to parallel the loss and sorry. It’s drawn out and longer to parallel the love and joy. This book should absolutely be taught in classrooms, not just for the own voices aspect, but the writing style. I flew through this book and absolutely loved it.

books and reading

With the Fire on High

Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: YA lit

PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: book set in a restaurant

I just can’t stop reading YA these days. I go through reading phases, like most people, I would guess. But I’m digging through some recent YA books that I didn’t get to the past few years. And I’ve heard so many great things about this author, and this book also happened to fit a Popsugar prompt, so it was doubly worth reading. And I’m so glad I did.

From Goodreads: With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Emoni is just such a great character. She is realistic and responsible and knows exactly what she wants. But getting there can be tricky. She’s a fantastic mom, but having a baby does cause issues that her peers don’t face. She loves cooking, but her grades aren’t the greatest. She has an amazing grandma who raised her, but her dad isn’t as in the picture as much as he really should be. I’m so thankful for the recent transition in YA lit from annoying teen girl to amazing, strong teen girl. The recent representations are so much more empowering for girls who are reading the books. I listened to this book and couldn’t get through it quickly enough. I just loved being in Emoni’s world and absolutely recommend this one.