In Meg Medina's compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school - and must discover resources she never knew she had.
One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back.
At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.
The conclusion of this rough, yet heartfelt story feels brutally real. There is no easy answer. Piddy has gone to war and bears the scars to prove it. But, she also knows more about herself. And she knows that life - like dancing - requires strength, grace and risks. She's ready to step out and to set her own rhythm, in time with the beat of her heart. (Reviewed by Sarah Tomp).
In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Starred Review. Medina emphasizes Piddy’s acute sense of isolation without overplaying it, and she absolutely respects the totality of Piddy’s quandary...The message here is that tough and unfair stuff is really tough and unfair, but it’s also survivable; that’s a takeaway that readers will recognize as both true and valuable.
Starred Review. A nuanced, heart-wrenching and ultimately empowering story about bullying....more than just a problem novel, this book sheds light on a serious issue without ever losing sight of its craft.
The Horn Book
Starred Review. Yaqui may think she’s tough, but it’s Piddy and some of the other female characters, namely Piddy’s mother and her mother’s flamboyant best friend Lila, who make more lasting impressions. Medina’s setting stands out as well...Teens will identify with Piddy’s struggle.
A powerful read! As tough and honest as its title, this novel takes an unflinching look at the unjust and cruel consequences of bullying. The story of Piddy Sanchez's transformation is full of the kind of truth teen readers will instantly recognize. I highly recommend it.
Jo Knowles, Author of See You at Harry's
I cried and cheered for Piddy in equal measure. Medina perfectly captures the devastating impact of bullying - and the powerful influence of kindness in recovery. I love this book and miss Piddy already!
Carrie Jones, Author of the Need series and co-editor of Dear Bully
Poignant, powerful, pull-your-heart-apart sad, snort-out-your-nose funny - a nuanced, honest telling of how courage and choice can triumph over the hell of being bullied.
I thought the references to Latin dances woven throughout Meg Medina's Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass were an effective way to illustrate Piddy's struggles with understanding her own physicality as well her place as an individual within her community. Besides the cultural connotations, dance can be a powerful way to express emotion kinesthetically.
As Salsa dancing is riding a wave of current popularity, I was curious about the various dances and music styles referred to in this novel. Salsa is an all-inclusive term referring to several types of dances with roots in the Caribbean, especially Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as Latin and North America. The nickname is fitting as it also refers to the spicy sauce made from several ingredients.
The dances included within this general term are typically partner dances performed...
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