Iveliz lo explica todo

Vintage Español. Feb. 2023. 272p. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781644736098.
Gr 6 Up–Twelve-year-old Iveliz shares her thoughts and feelings about various loved ones in her diary: her sometimes rocky relationship with Mami, close and supportive friendship with Amir, excitement about Mimi coming to live with them from Puerto Rico, and close relationship with Papi. However, Iveliz has several anxiety-inducing pressures weighing down on her. Mimi is struggling with Alzheimer’s, and Papi is gone after a tragic accident that Iveliz blames herself for. Even though she has been taking medication and attending therapy, Iveliz remains full of guilt, and at times sees and talks to her father. At school, Amir is her truest friend, as Iveliz is often targeted by fellow classmates and finds herself in trouble. Iveliz tries to move forward and tell herself everything is okay, but also bottles up her thoughts and feelings. When they threaten to bubble up and Iveliz comes close to harming herself, she finally shares with her therapist and accepts his help. Written in lyrical Spanish verse, this middle grade novel with heavy themes will make readers’ hearts skip a beat when they realize what is truly going on with Iveliz and Papi, and as they witness Iveliz struggling with guilt and depression. The realities and pain of loss, grief, and witnessing a loved one lose their memories are palpable, as are the difficulties of wanting to share one’s emotions but struggling to do so.
VERDICT This heartfelt novel will open up the way for important discussions on mental health, and is a necessary and important choice for middle grade Spanish collections.

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