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A novel in verse about the joys and struggles of a Chicana girl who is a warrior for her name, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life.
Celina and her family are bilingual and follow both Mexican and American traditions. Celina revels in her Mexican heritage, but once she starts school it feels like the world wants her to erase that part of her identity. Fortunately, she’s got an army of family and three fabulous new friends behind her to fight the ignorance. But it’s her Gramma who’s her biggest inspiration, encouraging Celina to build a shield of joy around herself. Because when you’re celebrating, when you find a reason to sing or dance or paint or play or laugh or write, they haven’t taken everything away from you. Of course, it’s not possible to stay in celebration mode when things get dire—like when her dad’s deported and a pandemic hits—but if there is anything Celina’s sure of, it’s that she’ll always live up to her last name: Guerrera—woman warrior—and that she will use her voice and writing talents to show the world it’s a more beautiful place because people like her are in it.
Dr. Carmen Tafolla, San Antonio’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, is an internationally published poet and writer and a native of the city’s West Side barrios. She is the author of more than twenty books, including five books of poetry. Her literary works have appeared in more than 200 journals, anthologies, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, and kindergarten “Big Books.” The tremendous diversity of her writings and her speeches reflect a joyful celebration of community, and an affirmation of individual and cultural strength.
An insightful novel in verse about the joys and struggles of a Chicana girl who is a warrior for her name, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life.