Book Review: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

I love this book.  Even though I had to black out the title on my “Mrs. Ripp has read…” wall, just because some of my students wouldn’t appreciate the last word.  Even though I have yet to actually get a student to read it.  Even though this book was in my to be read pile for a few months.  I love this book.

This book, with its story line that is all too familiar and yet brings such a new perspective to what it means to be bullied and the debate that surrounds us daily in our school.  This book, with its characters that are real and make no excuses.  With its events that could have been lifted from so many lives.  This book should be in every middle school classroom and up.  Yes, it has hard language.  Yes, it has scenes in it that are mature, but the power within its pages cannot be denied.  That is why this book is a Global Read Aloud Contender for 2015.

From Goodreads:

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.

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