cover image Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene

Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene

Emma Otheguy. Knopf, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-37263-0

In a Cuban American family brimming with ballet talent, 10-year-old Sofía Acosta feels obligated to dance well. But unlike her 13-year-old sister, Regina, and younger brother, Manuel, she’s drawn not to movement but to costume design. As her family and community prepare to perform The Nutcracker, Sofía attempts to master the hop-step and helps her classmates plan a surprise party for an Irish teacher who recently became an American citizen. Juggling activities, Sofía learns that while best friend and fellow Cuban American Tricia Rivera is happy to assist with their teacher’s fete, Tricia responds otherwise to a Cuban dancer’s invitation to American Ballet Theatre, saying “immigrants shouldn’t just sneak into our country.” Soon, Sofía begins to truly notice how subtly her privileged, largely white suburb excludes her family, painting their concerns as about “the character of our community.” Otheguy (A Sled for Gabo) centers an immigrant diasporic experience through the lens of a girl working to fit in, and struggling to square her privilege with experiences of intersectional discrimination. Ages 8–12. Agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. (Jan.)