Pub Date 20 Aug 2019
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Quijana is a girl in pieces. One-half Guatemalan, one-half American : When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy : When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up : Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother.
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 from Rebecca Balcarcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.
“The palpable push-and-pull of Quijana’s yearning for her father’s homeland, Guatemala, will propel readers through this poetic, deeply affecting debut.” –Jenn Bishop, author of The Distance to Home
"Rebecca Balcarcel has written a powerful story that seeps into the spaces where language and heritage meet family and new discoveries. The Other Half Of Happy strikes all the right chords, bridging a gap and stretching open arms to readers looking for home in both familiar and unfamiliar places. Bravely told, with notes of vulnerability, brevity, and hope, this is a story that invites quiet courage to speak love, regardless of your native language.”—Beth Hautala, author of The Ostrich and Other Lost Things
“Rebecca Balcárcel has penned a touching and oh-so-satisfying story featuring a fierce and tender new Latinx super star, Quijana Carrillo! Quijana will capture your heart with her defiant spirit and unwavering love for friends and family.” —Angela Cervantes, author of Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
“Quijana’s journey to understand herself better and how she fits between two cultures is authentic and relatable to readers of all backgrounds, and her language struggles will particularly hit home for some. With Rebecca Balcárcel’s lyrical language, Quijana’s voice feels both fresh and familiar. A beautiful coming of age story.” -Hena Khan, author of Amina’s Voice