Praise for Shine On, Luz Véliz!

KirkusBest Middle-Grade Fiction of 2022 list
Starred review:
“The plot is absorbing and skillfully paced, laced with insight and warmth as Luz learns to embrace both her new sister and her new sense of self. Inspiring, smart, and beautifully written.”

horn-book-logo“Balcárcel deftly interlaces many themes, including identity (both cultural and personal), girls in STEM, immigration, and family trauma. The well-drawn characters are realistically flawed . . . Effective pacing keeps readers invested in Luz’s family’s trials and tribulations from beginning to end.”

School Library Journal logoBest Middle Grade Books of 2022 list
Starred review:
“A great novel about the struggles of friendship and family, and that what makes a person who they are is more than what other people think of them. A must-have for middle school collections.

Praise for The Other Half Of Happy

Starred review: “Balcárcel’s well-rounded characters, complex friendships, and nuanced family dynamics will resonate with many readers. This is a title that will remain relevant long past its publication date. A must-have for all library collections.” –School Library Journal

Starred review: “With poetic, flowing prose that sometimes feels more like a song and characters so convincing that they seem real, Balcárcel’s stunning debut depicts the struggles of being raised with two cultures and the challenges of not being “authentic” enough—in this case, “not Guatemalan enough” or “not American enough.” A lovely, moving, and realistic view of the struggles and insecurities—as well as the beauty—that comes from being bicultural.” — Selenia Paz

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