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“Using rhythmic first-person verse, Tafolla presents messages about the importance of family and friends, social justice, and using one’s voice to incite change. . . . Via the protagonist’s journey to articulate her complex feelings through succinct and polished phrases, Tafolla crafts an astute and evolving heroine. The lyrical verse—structured as Celi’s own poetry, which teachers and Gramma embolden her to pursue—eventually culminates in powerful vocalizations of Celi’s values.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Warrior Girl

Written by Carmen Tafolla
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group

Celina and her family are bilingual and follow both Mexican and American traditions. Celina revels in her Mexican heritage, but once she starts school it feels like the world wants her to erase that part of her identity. Fortunately, she’s got an army of family and three fabulous new friends behind her to fight the ignorance. But it’s her Gramma who’s her biggest inspiration, encouraging Celina to build a shield of joy around herself. Because when you’re celebrating, when you find a reason to sing or dance or paint or play or laugh or write, they haven’t taken everything away from you. Of course, it’s not possible to stay in celebration mode when things get dire—like when her dad’s deported and a pandemic hits—but if there is anything Celina’s sure of, it’s that she’ll always live up to her last name: Guerrera—woman warrior—and that she will use her voice and writing talents to make the world a more beautiful place where all cultures are celebrated.

Primary ISBN: 9780593354711
Publication Date: September 2023
Available As: Hardcover, eBook
Middle Grade, Age 10 or older

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Setting: United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: 1st Generation

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