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Junior Library Guild, SpiritOfTexas, TxInstituteOfLetters Best Middle Grade Book, Américas Award Honor Book, ALA Notable Book, Int’l Latino Book Awards Finalist, Pura Belpré Honor Book

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

Praise for Shine On, Luz Véliz!

KirkusStarred 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 (Belpré honoree for The Other Half of Happy) 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.”

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“Prof. Balcarcel is such a sweetheart! I am currently taking her class and it exceeded expectations. She manages to engage all students with very interesting lessons. Her grading is amazing; she gives good feedback. She really strives to improve your writing. Would take this again!” — Composition I student

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