Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene

Author: Emma Otheguy
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (An Imprint of Penguin Random House)
Publication Date: January 25th, 2022
ISBN: 9780593372630
Ages 8-12

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About the Book

A poignant, coming of age story about a Cuban-American girl trying to figure out where she belongs–both in her ballet-loving family and the wider world. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and Merci Suárez Changes Gears.

It’s a good thing Sofía Acosta loves dreaming up costumes, because otherwise she’s a ballet disaster—unlike her parents, who danced under prima ballerina Alicia Alonso before immigrating to the suburbs of New York. Luckily, when the Acostas host their dancer friends from Cuba for a special performance with the American Ballet Theatre, Sofía learns there’s more than dance holding her family together. Between swapping stories about Cuba and sharing holiday celebrations, the Acostas have never been more of a team.
         Then Sofía finds out about the dancers’ secret plans to defect to the United States, and makes a serious mistake—she confides in her best friend, only to discover that Tricia doesn’t want “outsiders” moving to their community. Now Sofía wonders what the other neighbors in her tight-knit suburban town really think of immigrant families like hers. Sofía doesn’t want to make a scene, but if she doesn’t speak up, how will she figure out if her family really belongs? 

Praise

“Full of heart and characters that jump off the page. [This is] a unique and honest view into the experience of the Cuban diaspora in the United States from a young protagonist’s perspective. It made me care deeply about Sofía as she awakened to issues around her, such as gentrification, privilege, immigration, and history. Timely and necessary. –Yamile Saied Méndez, Pura Belpré-winning author of Furia
 
“From the very first page, I found myself  rooting for Sofía as she found her voice and made some good trouble along the way!” —Tami Charles, New York Times bestselling author of All Because You Matter and Like Vanessa
 
“A sensitive portrayal of a Cuban American girl’s efforts to become a ballet dancer and an advocate for immigrants.” —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree  
 
“A heartwarming novel about a girl finding her place. The themes of immigration and speaking up for what you believe in are skillfully woven into a story that feels timely and important, but no less entertaining and relatable. I loved watching Sofía grow and discover her strengths and know she will inspire many others.” –Hena Khan, author of Amina’s Voice and Amina’s Song

“Bighearted, nuanced, and insightful.” –Kirkus Reviews

This is fine fare indeed for balletomanes and a keenly felt examination of competing desires and familial expectations.”-The Bulletin  

“Otheguy centers an immigrant diasporic experience through the lens of a girl working to fit in, and struggling to square her privilege with experiences of intersectional discrimination.” –Publishers Weekly

“[…] a convincing portrayal of Sofía as a girl who tries to live up to her parents’ expectations but gradually becomes more self-reliant and envisions her own path forward. A lively middle-grade novel underscoring the value of honest communication with family and friends.” – Booklist

Learn More

Interview about the book with librarian Betsy Bird on the blog Fuse # 8

Interview with School Library Journal

Shelf Care podcast

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Reading with Your Kids podcast

YABC Author Chat

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Audiobook

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