Book Reviews

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass



Winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award! In Meg Medina’s compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school — and must discover resources she never knew she had. One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.

My Review: 

Piddy Sanchez is a main character that’s easy to root for; she’s smart, she keeps out of girl drama, and she’s been through a lot. Piddy’s mother insists that they move to a different apartment, which puts Piddy in a different high school where she has no friends, and her best friend has recently moved to a high school even further away. At her new school, Piddy keeps to herself and yet she’s told that a girl she’s never even heard of wants to kick her ass. Piddy has done absolutely nothing wrong and yet she’s a victim of bullying. As a middle school counselor, I know firsthand how mean girls can be to one another, for seemingly no reason, so this novel strikes close to home. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been bullied, which is absolutely everyone at some point. I loved reading Yaqui Delgado for the strong anti-bullying message it conveys as well as its Latin flair. 

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