Contemporary · Fiction · Young Adult

With the Fire on High


Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Page Count: 392

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: May 7, 2019 by HarperTeen

Format: Hardcover

Review: I have not yet read The Poet X, but I’ve heard enough hype about it that I was excited to get my hands on Acevedo’s newest novel.  I have a feeling this book will also be widely acclaimed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it too is nominated for a Printz Award.

This book conveys many positive messages about family, identity, hard work, and following your dreams.  I thought the whole thing was very smartly packaged and it’s short chapters will make it very appealing to reluctant readers.  In fact, I would say this book could be categorized as a hi/lo reader (high interest, low reading level) for teens.

Although I was well past my teens when I had my first child, I shared many of the same feelings of inadequacy and frustration that Emoni struggles with throughout the story.  As a full-time librarian, I often feel that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with my son.  It is incredibly difficult to balance work and family, and Emoni has the additional pressure of school and being a single parent.  While many teenagers must make difficult decisions about college and the future, Emoni’s responsibility to her daughter makes the stakes so much higher.  I really like the direction Emoni’s character chooses in the end, and I hope it encourages others to follow a similar path.

I loved the fact that each part of the book is prefaced by a recipe.  This book really got me hyped to try new things in the kitchen, and really changed the way I think about cooking as a whole.  Very inspiring!

Reader: Bekah



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