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Author: Salazar, Aida
Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is uncomfortable about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion--until she finds out that her best friend Magda is contemplating an even more profound change of life.
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 7.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 75679
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/18)
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2018 Gr 4–8—Salazar's debut coming-of-age story told in verse explores the themes of first love, first periods, and gender identity. Eleven-year-old Celi Rivera is mortified by the looming fact that her first period is coming. Her mother, however, is eager to throw her a "moon ceremony" upon its arrival to reclaim and honor their ancestral Mexica traditions and to empower her as she enters young womanhood. Meanwhile, Celi's best friend Magda is also going through a change, asking Celi to use he/his pronouns and call him Marco as he embraces his transition into a xochihuah, "people who danced between/or to other energies/than what they were assigned at birth." But when Celi's new crush Iván repeatedly makes fun of Marco for his appearance, Celi makes a few rash decisions. Celi's and Marco's parents come through with wisdom, shedding light and acceptance on each tween's journey. Celi's mom speaks frankly about sex and health, using poetic imagery to describe "women's most magical parts" and sexual pleasure. This novel contains rich descriptions of Mexica rituals and provides a unique perspective on gender fluidity and the bonds of unbreakable friendship. VERDICT An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty.—Jane Miller, Nashville Public Library - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.