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The Moon Within
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The Moon Within
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The dazzling story of a girl navigating friendship, family, and growing up, an Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? for the modern day, from debut author Aida Salazar.****Four starred reviews!***** "A...
The dazzling story of a girl navigating friendship, family, and growing up, an Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? for the modern day, from debut author Aida Salazar.****Four starred reviews!***** "A...
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  • The dazzling story of a girl navigating friendship, family, and growing up, an Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? for the modern day, from debut author Aida Salazar.

    ****Four starred reviews!***** "A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland." — Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewCeli Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 1, 2018
    A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland.Eleven-year-old Celi, mixed black-Puerto Rican-Mexican, dreads the imminent arrival of her period, less because of the menstruation itself and more because her mother insists that Celi have a "moon ceremony," in which the members of her mother's "women's circle" will mark the transition from childhood to womanhood. Meanwhile, her best friend is going through a different transition--from girl to xochihuah, "neither / female nor male but both." While Celi is initially shocked by the adjustment, she loves Mar, as her best friend now prefers to be known, no less. But when other kids, including her crush, Iván, say cruel things about Mar, Celi is torn between the possibility of a first kiss and loyalty to her friend. Salazar's verse novel is sensitive and fresh, featuring modern interpretations of pre-Columbian coming-of-age traditions that arise organically from the characters. Mar's heritage is Mexican, and Iván is mixed, black and Mexican; Celi and Mar's participation in a Puerto Rican performance group and their mothers' shared, deeply felt Xicana identity allow Salazar to naturally explore cultural nuances not often seen in middle-grade fiction. Genderfluid Mar takes both that name and the masculine pronoun midway through the book, and Celi's narration adjusts accordingly even if some of their peers' attitudes do not.An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout. (Verse fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 25, 2019
    Writing in clear, lyrical first-person verse, debut author Salazar gives voice to 11-year-old dance enthusiast, Oakland-based Celi Rivera, as she grapples with her changing body and a first crush, as well as familial and cultural expectations about growing into womanhood. Celi describes her heritage as “Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican-ness,” and she is particularly dreading the start of her period, because her mother insists that she celebrate with a “moon ceremony,” an ancestral Mexica tradition. For Celi, “I’d rather crawl into a cave/ than have a stupid moon ceremony!” Celi confides in and values her gender-fluid best friend, Marco. But when her skateboarding crush, Ivan, is insensitive toward Marco, Celi has to decide where her loyalty lies. Short, vignettelike passages explore Celi’s growing sense of agency over her body and beliefs, and the discovery of her personal rhythm in dance and in life. With sensitivity, Salazar purports that menstruation is a source of feminine strength, inexorably and beautifully connected to the moon cycle. The broader message is one of acceptance, celebration, and resistance: a period is just a period, Salazar suggests, but it’s also so much more. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marietta B. Zacker, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency.

  • DOGO Books raindrop07 - The Moon Within by Aida Salazar is a dazzling story of a girl who is having trouble embracing the changes in her body. When her mother insists on her having a moon ceremony to celebrate the coming of her period, 11 year old Celi wants nothing to do with it! But, when she finds her body changing quicker then she wishes, and her heart beating faster around a boy she likes, Celi is faced with a question... How can she embrace her new body and personality and learn to love it? I think this book is good for ages 11 and up, because there is some content that would not be suitable for younger ages.
  • Booklist

    January 1, 2019
    Grades 3-6 Celi's body is signaling changes, and all signs point to puberty. Her proud mother intends to hold a moon ceremony with family and close friends, an event for women to honor her first menstruation and give her advice, as well as empower her as she moves into this new phase in her life. This story is told in beautiful poems, using imagery and free verse to convey the tale, and it's narrated from the perspective of Celi, who starts off quite against the ceremony. In the time leading up to her first period, she also makes a few poor decisions towards her best friend, who announces their gender fluidity and needs her support more than ever. This is a lovely, relatable story about anyone who is torn between their impulses?fueled by frustration or anger?and the desire to do what's right by family and friends, especially when it's difficult. The words really use up the space on the pages in creative ways, and the author reveals cultural aspects of Latinx (especially Xicana) and Caribbean peoples in rich detail.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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