Grades 9 – 12
In Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, 16-year-old Camino Rios lives for the summer – especially the first week of June – 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. Roughly 1,500 miles away in New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where she meets her “Ms. Universe-perfect” mother with her hair in rollers waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash, and her entire world changes. Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality, one in which their worlds collide, and their lives are forever altered.
Ismée Williams’ This Train is Being Held is about Alex, a baseball player. A great one. His papi is pushing him to go pro, but Alex maybe wants to be a poet. Not that Papi would understand or allow that. Isa is a dancer. She’d love to go pro, if only her Havana-born mom weren’t dead set against it, just like she’s dead set against her daughter falling for a Latino. And Isa’s privileged private-school life – with her dad losing his job and her older brother struggling with mental illness – is falling apart. Not that she’d ever tell that to Alex. Fate, and the New York City subway, bring Alex and Isa together. Is it enough to keep them together when they need each other most?
FREE bonus download: Official Spotify playlist for This Train is Being Held