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.