With the Fire on High
National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo is a necessary voice in young adult literature. Her sophomore novel, With the Fire On High, stars a confident Afro-Latinx teenage mother who aspires to be a successful chef. At the start of Emoni’s senior year of high school, she is presented with the opportunity to take a rigorous cooking class. This would be a dream come true for Emoni, who is both passionate about food and talented in the kitchen, but a costly trip to Spain with her entire class seems impossible for her. She’s struggling enough to provide for her daughter Emma and grandmother ‘Buela, who raised her from birth, by working at a local burger joint. Adding to her stress is her complicated relationship with her co-parent ex-boyfriend and his unpleasant family, a jealous classmate intent on hurting Emoni’s feelings, and ‘Buela’s mysterious doctor visits. But the encouragement of ‘Buela, her queer best friend Angelica, and her new-kid crush Malachi help Emoni realize that her dreams may not be out of reach.
Acevedo tackles difficult subjects with sensitivity and hope; her characters are marked with an incredible determination that readers will fall in love with. Emoni is a complex and relatable character with a consistently believable voice. Also, Acevedo’s detailed descriptions of food is absolutely scrumptious. With real depth and masterly writing, With the Fire on High will appeal to audiences of all ages.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||400 pages|
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