Title: With the Fire on High (ARC)
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 7th 2019
No. of Pages: 400
Genre: YA Contemporary
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
Batter up! Today is my day on the With The Fire On High ~ Blog Tour
I am even more excited because planned or not I get to post on the eve of #WTFOH ‘s release date and birth into the world. How dope is that?
On this leg of the tour I am shouting out my favorite quotes.
There were so many quotes I could have chosen. I have underlined and annotated so many sections of Acevedo’s latest work, With the Fire on High which I absolutely intend on unpacking. Where the story gave me pause and made my stomach flutter was the chapter titled;
Black Like Me: (excerpts)
“I’ve lived my whole life having people question what race I am. Not necessarily the homies I grew up with.”
“But when people come from a different neighborhood first meet me, they wonder why I don’t fit certain modes. The Latina Grandmother’s at the Papi shops tsk tsk when they ask me a question in Spanish and I answer with my chopped up tongue, or worse, in English. And I don’t have enough skills to tell them ‘Buela didn’t raise me speaking much Spanish. I try not to be self-conscious about how little Spanish I know, but some days it feels like not speaking Spanish automatically makes me a bad Boricua. One who’s forgotten her roots.”
“This stuff is complicated. But it’s like I’m some long-division problem folks keep wanting to parcel into pieces and they don’t hear me when I say: I don’t reduce, homies. The whole of me is black. The whole of me is whole.”
“The whole of me is Black. The whole of me is whole.”
!Emoni Santiago, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo!
I am in love with the main character Emoni. Right from jump you can see that she will have a complicated journey. That her life will not be an easy one. Being raised by her grandmother, losses and becoming a teen mother are just some of the things she will face. I appreciate that the author has given this character some rich and real experiences to contend with.
Let’s talk about this main character Emoni Santiago!
I selected the above excerpts because I was immediately drawn to the ways in which the author tackles identity, more specifically Black identity, and Afro-latinad. As more and more young people begin to seek ways to self-identify it is crucial to see ourselves on the pages and taking center stage. Emoni faces what many who identify as AFROLATINA are feeling and dealing with in their daily lives, this idea of not being enough one thing or the other. Not being Black enough while not being Puerto Rican enough.
Emoni comes head to head with this when her classmate says, “I don’t think I knew that was your first name. I like it. Isn’t Imani one of the days you celebrate during Kwanzaa? I didn’t think you were black-black.” MALACHI, WTFOH
What does this even mean to be black-black? Introducing the theme of Blackness is really important, it’s what folks are talking about right now and how empowering to see a character begin to look at her identity. I think WTFOH will be a wonderful way for many people to begin having more discourse around the policing of Blackness, colorism, anti blackness, teen parenting, and belonging. Stay tuned for a longer book review!
Thank you Karina for allowing me to part of this tour! What a wonderful way to celebrate Elizabeth Acevedo’s work!
About the author:
ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X is her debut novel. She lives with her partner in Washington, DC.
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April 22 – Afire Pages | Welcome Post & BTS Look on the Cover Design Process
April 23 – Reading Peaches
April 24 – Shut Up, Shealea | Printable wallpapers/ bookmarks
April 25 – A Book Devourer | “The Life of Emoni; A Comparison”
April 26 – Bookish Wanderess
April 27 – Flipping Through the Pages
April 28 – Utopia State of Mind
April 29 – For the Love of Diversity in Books | Aesthetics + Quote Graphics
April 30 – The Royal Polar Bear Reads | Instagram Photos
May 1 – Endless Chapters | Recipe
May 2 – The Ultimate Fangirl
May 3 – The Wolf & Books
May 4 – Book Lover’s Book Reviews
May 5 – Weekend Reader | Cover Inspired Hairstyle
May 6 – The Writer and The Story | Favorite Quotes
May 7 – Themollyweather
May 8 – All Things Gene
May 9 – Darque Dreamer Reads
May 10 – Your Tita Kate
May 11 – Afergtale | “Stories Our Abuelas Wouldn’t Tell Today”
May 12 – F A N N A
Yes, you’ve read it right! This blog tour has giveawayS not just a giveaway. Enter below to enter and win a book or a shirt of With the Fire on High! You can enter not just on either but on BOTH giveaways. The giveaways are open internationally until May 22nd.
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH
ENTER TO WIN A WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH SHIRT
Shirt design by Melissa Chan, read more about her designs here.