In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people...
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance--and Papi's secrets--the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Great for summer reading or anytime Clap When You Land is a Today show pick for "25 children's books your kids and teens won't be able to put down this summer
Plus don't miss Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X and With the Fire on High
- ISBN-13: 9780062882769
- ISBN-10: 0062882767
- Publisher: Quill Tree Books
- Publish Date: May 2020
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1.35 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.12 pounds
- Page Count: 432
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
Clap When You Land
Those who remember all too well the tragedy of September 11, 2001, may not recall another tragedy that occurred in its immediate aftermath. On November 12, American Airlines Flight 587, en route from New York City to the Dominican Republic, crashed in Queens, killing all 260 people on board, the vast majority of whom were of Dominican descent.
The tragic stories of the lives lost on board Flight 587 and those of the families left behind, as well as author Elizabeth Acevedo’s own memories of trips to visit relatives in the Dominican Republic, inspired Clap When You Land. The book sees Acevedo return triumphantly to the novel-in-verse format of her multiple award-winning debut, The Poet X.
Sixteen-year-old Camino Rios is meeting her father at the Santo Domingo airport. He lives in the United States much of the year but spends summers in the Dominican Republic. Camino, whose mother died a decade earlier, dreams of moving to New York City for college and then medical school. She can’t wait to finally be closer to her beloved father.
Thousands of miles away in New York City, Yahaira Rios has just said goodbye to her father, who supports her love of competitive chess and always encourages her to follow her dreams. Yahaira misses him when he returns to the Dominican Republic each summer, but this year, her feelings are more complicated. She’s recently learned a secret about her father that she hasn’t admitted to anyone.
Both Yahaira and Camino are on the cusp of a terrible loss—and of a profound discovery about their families and the surprising, sometimes uneasy connection between them.
Clap When You Land explores themes of heredity, class and privilege, as well as the complex, conflicted emotions the girls feel toward their birthplaces and homes. Acevedo handles all of these themes with a lyricism and sensitivity to language that make Camino’s and Yahaira’s struggles and joys, both individual and shared, all the more powerful.
Readers unaccustomed to verse narratives will quickly settle into the book’s generally short stanzas and conversational tone. Passages that are more deliberately poetic in style, such as the description of a burial that uses short lines to make the text resemble a deep hole, or a scene of violence in which the verses—like the narrator’s thoughts—grow increasingly fragmented, encourage readers to read slowly and even pause in order to fully experience both the characters’ powerful emotions and Acevedo’s tremendous skill at conveying them and transforming them into art.
Clap When You Land gets its title from the Dominican tradition of applauding when a plane touches down safely at its destination. By the story’s end, readers will be ready to give Yahaira, Camino and Acevedo herself a standing ovation.