Acevedo, Elizabeth. Clap When You Land. Harper Teen, 2020. 402p. ISBN: 978-0-06-288276-9. $18.99. HS AT ****
Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo’s third book, is the story, told in verse, of Camino and Yahaira. Two young women and their families, though, miles apart at first, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in New York City, are tied together after a plane crash that claims their father. The story interweaves their grief, family history, family drama, and the realization that nothing will be the same without their dad.
Acevedo returns to verse for this story, but it does not feel quite as poetic as her previous tales. There is rhythm and momentum to her choice of words and use of structure on the printed page, but it isn’t quite as magical as her previous works. Overall the story is still moving and the emotions of Camino and Yahaira are real and their grief cuts deep. Locations and people are diverse, including cultural diversity and an LGBTQ+ couple. Overall, it was a great read and recommend for older teens. Content warnings: curse words, a disrupted sexual assault depicted on the page, mentions of under-aged pregnancy, and references to prostitution which is more than likely under-age.
-Jessica Lundin, San Jose Public Library
Tags: Diverse, LGBTQ+, People of color, Poetry, Realistic