Moon Within (The Moon Within)

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Divine feminine energy.  Your inner goddess.  There's a power in being a woman. It comes from the universe and becomes a part of who you are as a girl and as a woman.

When you're 12 years old and everything is changing, you don't feel divine and you don't feel like a goddess.  You feel like you are keeping secrets inside yourself and trying to adjust to the changes in your breasts, in your feelings, in your girl parts (Mima calls them your flor).

Twelve-year-old Celi is in the closet trying to put on her new bra when her mother finds her and calls in her father and brother to see and celebrate the changes in Celi's body.  Anyone cringing?  Celi's mother, Mima, announces that soon Celi will have her first moon and Mima is excited to create a moon ceremony for her daughter.  Celi just wishes her mother would go away, leave her alone and stop talking about Celi's private self.

A novel in verse, this is the story of a girl who is coming of age in a family where the traditions of generations of women are surrounding her and waiting to welcome her into their circle.  There is an authenticity, a sense of honor, and a lot of painful moments as Celi makes her journey into the world of boys, of feeling a special tingle in her "happy button,"  a friendship with Magda who is struggling with her gender identity and learning about the amazing power she holds as she moves into womanhood.

When you start reading this book, you might be as mad at Celi's mother as Celi is.  But stick with her because this journey has the potential to take you to a place you didn't even imagine was there. It's a powerful place that connects the feminine in you to the incredible power of the feminine energy in the natural world around us.

A powerhouse and a feminist classic in the making.

240 pages              978-1338283372             Ages 9-13

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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* "A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?

A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.--from the publisher

240 pages              978-1338283372             Ages 9-13

Keywords: coming of age, Latinx Latina, Latino, novels in verse, human body, growing up, family, cultures, traditions, heritage, 9 year olds, 10 year olds, 11 year olds, 12 year olds, 13 year olds, sexuality, friendshiip

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