cover image Tumble


Celia C. Pérez. Kokila, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-59332-517-9

Humor and heartfelt emotion reign supreme in a quirky narrative that centers the importance of family, blood or blended. Twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez, who’s of Mexican descent, has a half brother on the way, a new addition to the stepfamily of her, her museum fossil preparator mother, and her stepfather, a wrestling fan who runs a diner. As the due date looms, Adela’s stepfather proposes a big step: formally adopting her. Adela loves him and even thinks of him as her dad, but the situation is complicated by the existence of her absent biological father, whose identity her mother has never revealed. After deducing it from an old photo, though, it turns out that Adela is descended from a line of wrestling superstars, the Bravo family, who welcome her warmly into their family and traditions. But her biological father remains distant, and with the question of adoption looming, Adela must decide what, if any, role she wants him to play in her life. Layered, moving characterizations and Adela’s voice, full of amusing witticisms, mark this charming novel, which glows with the love—and complications—of family. Ages 9–12. Agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Aug.)