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My Fate According to the Butterfly

240p. Scholastic. Jul. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338310504.
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Gr 4–6—Sab's 11th birthday is approaching, but when she sees a black butterfly, she is afraid that she will die before then, since her father told her that the creature is a harbinger of death. She would like to spend her birthday with her father and Tito Wendell at the resort her grandmother ran before her death, but her sister Nadine has not spoken to her father in more than a year. Nadine is a journalism major in college and is working on a story about drug use in their neighborhood in Manila, the Philippines. Sab decides to investigate the cause of the rift and finds a friend of her father's from college. Sab begins reexamining things she already knew, which leads to the realization that her father was a drug addict. Sab is able to celebrate her birthday with the people she loves, and her awareness of her father's situation helps to bring the family back together. Told in simple, easily understood language, this novel combines elements of the mundane with a timely story about how drug use and other issues can affect families.
VERDICT A gentle title that skillfully addresses difficult issues of drug addiction and family tension from the perspective of a young girl. For those who appreciated Marie Miranda Cruz's Everlasting Nora, Padma Venkatraman's The Bridge Home, or Erin Entrada Kelly's The Land of Forgotten Girls.

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