By Olivia Ghaforekhan
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
I really enjoyed reading this story, and following Piddy’s journey. This is a story about being bullied, and it gives a very realistic description of what that feels like. The biggest strength of this novel is the empathy the reader feels for Piddy as the bullying progresses from intimidation and threats to physical violence.
There are also several subplots that Piddy must navigate through. She experiences her first taste of love and all the uncertainty that goes along with it. She is also faced with a growing divide between herself and her best friend. Then there is the mystery of Piddy’s father, which unravels slowly throughout the novel. Somehow in spite of, or maybe even because of these heavy topics there is a dark sense of humor throughout the piece that keeps the emotional journey from becoming too overwhelming. The descriptions of music and of the rhythm and beats of Piddy’s favorite songs, her cha-cha-chaing to the music and her swishy ass provide a beautiful backdrop for the drama of the story.
Photo used under creative commons: http://culturacubanita.blogspot.com/2009/11/cha-cha-cha.html