Author Interview: Rebecca Balcárcel Part I

Balcárcel, opens up to Mr. Alex about the process behind her debut Middle Grade Novel!

The Other Half of Happy

Quijana is a girl in pieces.

One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage.

One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden.

One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother.

In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

Chronicle Books

Rebecca Balcárcel’s debut novel, The Other Half of Happy, is a Pura Belpré Honor Book, an Americas Award Honor Book, and was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels of 2019 as well as a Notable Book by American Library Services for Children. Rebecca pets her cat when she is a not serving the students of Tarantino County College as Associate Professor of English or eating popcorn. She took her MFA fro Bennington Writing Seminars, and she analyzes literature on her YouTube channel, SixMinuteScholar

Full review of the novel posted here.

Book Giveaway Rules here.
Contest runs through September 14, 2020
Winner will be posted on Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf

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