****Four starred reviews!****
* "A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.
But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Aida Salazar is a writer, arts advocate, and home-schooling mother who grew up in South East LA. She received an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, and her writings have appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post, Women and Performance: Journal of Feminist Theory, and Huizache Magazine. Her short story, By the Light of the Moon, was adapted into a ballet by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. Aida lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Moon Within is written in a unique way. The entire book is written in poetry form. This book is about an 11 year-old girl named Celi Rivera. Celi is of half Puerto Rican and half Mexican-American heritage. She lives in East Oakland, California. Her 12th birthday is right around the corner. Her body has started to change, which includes Celi getting her period. When Celi gets her period, her mom insists that she is going to have a traditional Mexican moon ceremony for her. A moon ceremony is a public celebration where they celebrate her transition from a girl to a young woman. Celi doesn’t want to have a moon ceremony because she wants her body changes to be kept private. She does not want to share the changes that are happening to her body with other women. Celi’s best friend, Magda, is discovering what it means to be genderfluid. Magda and Celi have been best friends since they were babies. Celi’s passion is dancing. She loves to dance the bomba, a traditional Puerto Rican dance accompanied with drums. Celi is also experiencing her first crush on a boy named Iván. He is finally showing interest in Celi, but Iván is less accepting of Magda because she is genderfluid. One of the lessons in this book is that teens don’t have to be ashamed or feel embarrassed about the changes that are happening to their body. All girls will go through these changes. You are not going through this by yourself. Since this entire book is written in poetry form, it is more challenging to read. However, if you enjoy poetry and reading books that are in poetry form, this book may be for you. I recommend this book for people who are interested in knowing about traditions in different cultures. I also recommend this book more for teenage girls. Review by Alexis N., age 13, North Texas Mensa
Salazar writes about the world of a twelve year old named Celi. It is a world that’s at once scary and thrilling. Celi is on the verge of her teenage years but still hasn’t gotten her period. Her mother warns her that her period will be arriving soon and when it does they’ll have to celebrate it with a Moon Ceremony. Celi isn’t just dealing with this dilemma, but also has to wade through: a crush on a cute boy, a girl determined to make her life miserable, and a best friend who’s questioning their identity. These three characters make up the subplot of this story, as Celi’s friend comes out as Marco, or Mar in public, and begins using he/him pronouns (at the beginning the friend uses the name that was assigned to him at birth as well as she/her pronouns because he hasn’t come out to anyone). Though Celi accepts her friend’s gender exploration and immediately starts using his new name and pronouns, not everyone is as kind as Celi, including her crush. There are some moments of misgendering and transphobic taunting from other peers, but they’re all confronted on the page. All in all, at the center, The Moon Within is a sweet story about acceptance, be it an acceptance of self, or acceptance of Otherness. It’s a novel full of honesty and earnestness, an Afro-Latina of mixed Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage investigates how to traverse through the fine line between girlhood and adulthood in which girls of color are thrust upon, all with the help of loving friends and family. I can’t wait for a girl who’s trying to figure out how to go about a world that is constantly condescending and attacking her existence to read this book and feel elevated and loved, much in the same way I felt as I read. When I finished reading, I closed the book, hugged it to my chest and gently kissed the front cover. I couldn’t believe I was given such a great gift. I hope this review convinces you to get this book to someone struggling to love their body and themselves. I can’t wait for Salazar’s next books. Some content/trigger warnings: misgendering and transphobic remarks (all confronted on the page), menstruation, gender dysphoria, racism (mean girl makes pointed remark about Celi being of mixed heritage)