Excerpt from Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

by Meg Medina

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2013, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2014, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Practice for what?" I asked.

"I'm playing badminton for school."

"The game with the little net thing? That's a sport?"

"Yeah, can you believe it? And I suck."

"So why are you doing it?"

"Why else? Mami wants me to make friends."

This made us both laugh. Mitzi has always been kind of shy, her mother's exact opposite. It got really bad when the boys in our class went insta- stupid over Mitzi's boobs in elementary school. After that, it was me who had to tell the boys to shut their filthy mouths — and ask for the movie tickets and the explanation for the homework, too.

"You coming to Queens soon?" I don't want to say I miss you because she already knows that.

"The first weekend that I don't have a game. Maybe we can go shopping for your birthday present."

I couldn't answer through the tight feeling in my throat.

"Look, Piddy, don't worry. It's going to be okay," Mitzi said before we hung up. "Take it from me. You can't do anything about moving, anyway, so try to make the best of it. Besides, people always like you. You're going to kick butt."


I was already missing Lila as the three of us packed up our old kitchen a week later. I was sitting at the piano bench, plucking at the stuck keys.

"Ay, Clara, tell this kid to stop with the sad face; she's breaking my heart." Lila taped newspaper around two plates and kissed my forehead. "Your mami's right. You can't stay here." She wiped the lipstick off my skin with her handkerchief and tucked it back inside her bra. "The whole place is turning to dust."

Ma looked up and frowned at me.

"Piddy, stop that racket and help us. And quit moping. You should be thankful." She yanked tape over a box of pots. "The new apartment's not far, and — did you see? — it even has a yard."

I gave her a stony stare.

"That patch of dirt?"

"It has roses," she said. "You can sit outside with a new friend from school and smell their perfume," she continued. "That's good for a young girl."

"Ay,Ma . . ." I muttered

" 'Ay,Ma,' what?" she mimicked.

I sighed.

Ma is always inventing endless things that are "good for a young girl"— which means, specifically, me. Hemming pants. Washing out underwear by hand because "What decent woman puts her private things in a public washer?" Learning to fry chicken so it isn't bloody near the bone. Speaking rudimentary French. Cross- stitching pillows — I kid you not — so I'll know how to stitch my baby's initials into its bibs someday. All sorts of pointless things that are supposed to improve me "for the future."

Too bad I have other plans in mind.

Ma doesn't know it, but I'm going to be a scientist. I want to work with animals, big ones like elephants, maybe even live halfway across the world. It's weird, I know. There aren't any elephants here in Queens, not even at the zoo. But we have the National Geographic channel, so I know they're smart and they can feel and hear things people can't. They can keep a herd's whole history — all the good and the bad they've ever seen — in their memory. If I told this to Ma, her screams would touch the sky. "¿ Elefantes?" She'd nag about malaria and the smell of dung I'd never get out from under my nails. She'd ask me what kind of decent girl is interested in elephants. And so on.

It's times like these I wish I were Lila's daughter instead. Not that Ma doesn't love me — or that Lila likes elephants. It's just that Lila doesn't bother me. She's never had kids of her own, thank God, so she doesn't have the slightest idea of what's good for me. She doesn't ask me if I've done my homework or where I've been. When Ma works late, we fi ll up on butter cookies for dinner and watch the good shows that Ma calls trash. If I were Lila's kid, life might actually be fun.

Excerpted from Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina. Copyright © 2013 by Meg Medina. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Popular Latin Dances

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...

First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.