cover image Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

Meg Medina. Candlewick, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5859-5

High school sophomore Piddy Sanchez can't catch a break. She's just moved and transferred schools, separating her from her best friend. Piddy's curvy figure attracts the attention of both boys and school bully Yaqui, who is jealous and won't accept ambitious and independent Piddy into her group of Latinas, and threatens to harm her. Piddy's life is complicated enough before Yaqui's cruel threats and violent attacks. Outside of school, Piddy works with a flamboyant family friend at a hair salon; has just discovered that her traditional mother may have secrets about Piddy's absent father; develops romantic feelings for a childhood friend; and worries if her dream of working with animals can come true. When Yaqui takes things too far, Piddy has to decide what she is willing to do to defend herself. Piddy is a strong heroine whose sense of self is realistically jarred by her conflicting emotions. Medina (The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind) effectively prods at the motivations behind bullying (without excusing it) and sensitively explores the delicate balance between belonging and maintaining individuality. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Jennifer Rof%C3%A9, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Mar.)