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Clap When You Land

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Camino helps Tia in her healing work on the island. She works hard at the private school for which Papi in New York, pays, and longs for his summer visits.

Meanwhile, Yahaira abandons her chess playing when she discovers Papi’s hidden secret as she searches his whereabouts one summer. She smoulders against his secrecy and deception.

Yet, what happens when two girls, in the Dominican Republic and New York, respectively, realise they are both Papi’s daughters? How do they reconcile their lives, differences and similarities alongside Papi’s secrets and lies, and the truths of times before they were born? Life and aspirations for both girls are very different. Both are their father’s pride and joy. Yet each harbour their own secrets, from Yahaira’s sexuality, to the stalking man who watches and frightens Camino.

Clap When You Land is a confident, enlightening, empathetic verse novel born from the author’s need to share the story of Flight 1112, which crash landed some two months after 9/11, the second biggest aviation disaster in US history. Some of the stories of the passengers inspire her own story, which grips and fascinates. Bookwagon recommends Clap When You Land to our oldest, YA readers.

Description

Clap When You Land

Elizabeth Acevedo

(Hot Key Books)

Yahaira tells Camino to expect the other passengers to Clap When You Land. That’s what happens on flights to the Dominican Republic. However, Flight 1112 upon which Papi was a passenger that crashed into the sea between New York and DR didn’t offer this opportunity.
While the girls scrabble to make sense of their individual losses, they uncover further mysteries. It seems there was not only another mother for each of them, another wife for Papi, but another sister for each of them; Papi lived a double life.
Through the verse-prose narration of Camino and Yahaira in turn, we learn of their lives in the Dominican Republic and New York respectively. While one lives with and helps her healer aunt, attending a private school paid for by Papi, the other is a city wise chess player, who’s realised some of Papi’s deception before his death. How will the girls reconcile what they learn of their father, with what they see, imagine and interpret from each other?
Elizabeth Acevedo is the multi-award winning writer of The Poet X. She seems to be able to get into the heads and hearts of her central characters so that we feel their fears and pain. Thereafter, we struggle as Camino fears the cruel intent of El Cero. Furthermore, we feel Yahaira’s pain as she abandons chess and agonises in her insecurity in her mother’s gaze, from her father’s absence and with her sexuality.
Clap When You Land is an outstanding book of difference, history, separation and love, recommended for our oldest, YA readers.

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