Fourteen-year-old Lupita watches Mami carefully and even searches secretively in Mami's purse looking for clues that will tell her the secret she knows Mami is keeping from her. Lupita's life is about to get even more complicated than she could have imagined. Always before Mami is the rock and the heart of this family while Papi works hard to earn the money that gives Lupita and her brothers and sisters hope and comfort.
The family lives two lives, one in the United States and one back in Mexico where the relatives give them their roots. Lupita has the usual struggles of a freshman in high school trying to figure out who she is and where her talents lie and what she is willing to risk. These struggles are about to be overwhelmed as Mami's cancer diagnosis is revealed. Now Lupita worries about her Mami, and has to take on the care of her younger siblings and watches Papi fading under his grief and sorrow.
Written in free verse this is a touching story of a girl who is looking to find herself while being asked more than just to pick out the prettiest shoes or the cutest boy. This is a girl who is learning about loss, friendship, family and the strength of self. 224 pages Ages 11-15