Junior Library Guild, SpiritOfTexas, TxInstituteOfLetters Best Middle Grade Book, Américas Award Honor Book, ALA Notable Book, Pura Belpré Honor Book

Twelve-year-old Quijana likes to say that she used to be Pangaea. Unsplit. Not half white or half Latina. But that was before her Guatemalan cousins moved to town. Before her dad seemed ashamed that she isn’t more in touch with her Latinx heritage. Before her parents planned a family trip to Guatemala where she’ll feel like a failure from first tortilla to last. Now her continents are splitting apart. With the help of two new friends and kid-powered ingenuity, Quijana makes a plan to ditch the trip. After all, she’s never been great at Spanish, and she never asked to be named after Don Quixote, Spain’s most famous loser. Will she find happiness by staying half?

Ages 8-12 years
Grades 5-9
Chronicle Books
ISBN-13: 978-1452169989

Purchase at Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, BAM, or wherever books are sold.

In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut is a heartfelt portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

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

Named one of Booklist’s “Top Ten First Novels of 2019”
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

Click here to receive news from Rebecca!
BONUS: Sign up and learn about my 1300-mile bike trip while pregnant.

“I love these videos! Thank you so much for doing this. You have a conversational authenticity that keeps your videos casual and easily digestible!” — Hurtubise, a fan of Rebecca’s SixMinuteScholar. Come over and watch these talks on literature and writing!

Fan of Rebecca’s YouTube channel

“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

Fan of Rebecca’s teaching