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September 21, 2015

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass

Yaqui DelgadoYaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass

By: Meg Medina

The first day in a new school, sixteen year old Piedad (“Piddy”) Sanchez is told that “Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass”. Having no idea who Yaqui is or the boyfriend she is accused of trying to steal, Piddy is more interested in learning about her father and being a strong student.

When Piddy and Yaqui (and her gang) do meet up, she is surprised by the intense hatred and tries to ignore further encounters.  Yaqui has other ideas and harassment turns into bullying and then into physical abuse. Piddy eventually reveals what is happening and the school has to decide what to do with Yaqui (regularly suspended) and her gang.  The school can’t expel all of them and suggest Piddy transfer to another school. Although appearing unfair, it just may be the best course. This novel is contemporary, realistic and gets the trauma, fear and loneliness of a bullied teen.  There is strong language in both English and Spanish that lends gritty insight into a Brooklyn, New York Latino community.  The author does a wonderful job of the underlying reasons of bullying, understanding individuality, ethnicity and finding your own identity. This novel is definitely a young adult read for ages fourteen and up. No spoiling trailer, but it does have a good ending and I totally agree it should be a 2015 – 2016 Eliot Rosewater nominee.

Review By: Debra Wietecha