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When We Make It by [Elisabet Velasquez]
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When We Make It Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews Best Books
School Library Journal Best Books
Chicago Public Library Best Teen Fiction

The News & Observer Best Books for Kids

*“[M]asterfully weave[s] themes of religion, street life, sexual assault, language, poverty, the complexities of Boricua/Puerto Rican/Nuyorican identity, and so much more. . . . A gem for pleasure reading as well as classroom use. . . . Raw, breathtaking, and brilliant.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*“Candidly fierce . . . Exquisite poetry portrays not only anger and fear, but also hope . . . Gripping and soulful, this dynamic debut novel-in-verse is a must for every collection.”—School Library Journal, starred review

* “Velasquez paints a complex portrait of a strong-voiced teen in this compelling verse novel. . . . The candid, clear-eyed poetry contains powerful inquiries about her diasporic Nuyorican identity and canny observations about the endemic social and racial inequities that surround her. . . . Frank, provocatively titled poems chronicle the family’s struggles (“We’re Sorry the Welfare Office Is Closed and Will Reopen When You Have No Bus Fare to Get Here”), while others capture everyday joys with a buoyant, electric energy (“If Being Boricua in Brooklyn Is a Feeling—It’s the Best Kind”). Together, these vignettes capture Sarai’s multilayered, heartbreaking, and hopeful coming of age.”—Horn Book, starred review

“This gorgeously written novel in verse . . . will teach young women, in particular, that they can make it through tough times and learn to embrace their identity and background, face society, and put themselves first. A beautiful story whose deep messages will have lasting effects.”—Booklist

"With verses that are unapologetically fierce and honest, Elisabet Velasquez captures the Brooklyn city streets with a Nuyorican vibe that can’t be duplicated. When We Make it is the perfect, coming-of-age tale with rhythmic poetry that is certain to cement Velazquez as an exciting new young adult voice to celebrate."—Lilliam Rivera, Pura Belpré Honor-Winning Author of Never Look Back

"The energy. The clarity. The beauty. Elisabet Velasquez brings it all. And takes me home — to Bushwick in the most resonate and evocative of ways. The writing is clear-eyed, moving and funny. Her voice is FIRE!"—New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson
 
“This is the kind of book that makes you feel seen, the kind you read around the kitchen table to your sisters and friends. It will make you laugh and cry and remind you that you aren’t alone. Elisabet’s book will touch so many people’s lives. It has already touched mine.”—Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
 
"Elisabet Velasquez is a dynamo. She is an outlaw, a troubadour, and has an ear tuned to our hearts.  In this groundbreaking novel-in-verse, Velasquez renders the heart in conflict with itself, the swag and bilingual sonic charge of Bushwick, an uncompromising love, and the reality of being a young Puerto Rican woman, using poetry to make sense of conflict and chaos in her relentless search for truth. When We Make It is an unforgettable debut.”—Willie Perdomo, author of The Crazy Bunch

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Sarai is a Nuyorican (Puerto Rican born in New York City) teen growing up in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with her sister, Estrella, and their Mami. Seeking clarity about her identity, she wonders if she is Puerto Rican enough since she wasn't born on the island. Her Spanish is a work in progress. Although she doesn't always have the words to express herself, emotions are bubbling at the surface as she struggles with poverty, Mami's mental illness, gentrification of her neighborhood, and more. In this novel-in-verse, Velasquez provides a candidly fierce voice as Sarai finds her own. The author celebrates the teen's story unapologetically, with passion and respect. Exquisite poetry portrays not only anger and fear, but also hope, as "making it" may encompass a range of results. Layered themes unfold as Sarai's sojourn continues. Readers will find themselves empathizing with certain characters at different times and will root for Sarai to survive and proclaim her own story with intention: "Mami taught me how lethal a woman's mouth could be. How my mouth is an open wound. A pocket that stores the weapon." The book explores mental illness, poverty, misogyny, colorism, sexual assault, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, gun violence, and pregnancy loss. VERDICT Gripping and soulful, this dynamic debut novel-in-verse is a must for every collection.-Lisa Krok, Morley Lib., Cleveland, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R61G6CW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dial Books (September 21, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 21, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2579 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 059332448X
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 70 ratings

About the author

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Elisabet Velasquez is a Boricua writer born in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her work has been featured in Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, Latina Magazine, We Are Mitú, Tidal, and more. Her debut novel, WHEN WE MAKE IT, has been selected as an Indie Next selection and lands on shelves on September 21.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
70 global ratings
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%

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Top reviews from other countries

Luisa
5.0 out of 5 stars A must
Reviewed in Canada on October 23, 2021
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