What TBS Reads
The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Belcárcel.
Quijana is a girl in pieces. One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.from Amazon
Why TBS Reads
I met Rebecca Belcárcel at the NCTE conference last year. After meeting her and hearing her speak on a panel with other Latinx authors, buying her book was a nonnegotiable. If I recall correctly, this was the only book that I bought the entire trip.
I’m making a concerted effort to read more middle grade books, and after finishing Tristan Strong, I knew this was where I wanted to go next.