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The Mirror Season



by
Anna-Marie McLemore

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Feiwel & Friends
ISBN
9781250624123
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape , Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Strong Language
$18.25
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When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown.

Graciela Cristales’s whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.

But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depends on no one finding out what really happened.Author’s note.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape , Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Strong Language

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

320

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 2/5"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

HL780L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Sep 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Rape. High schools. Dating (social customs). Hispanic Americans. Bisexuality. Family life. San Juan Capistrano, California. LGBTQ.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–In this novel inspired by their own experience, McLemore employs the device of magical realism as smoothly and artistically as protagonist Ciela creates pan dulce in her aunt’s panadería. This first-person narrative opens like a fairy tale, recounting how her great-grandmother passed the gift of matching specific Mexican sweet bread to each client’s needs. This ushers readers into the spring night of Ciela’s junior year when she deposits an unknown white boy at the ER. Both of them were sexually assaulted, something that she cannot think about, much less talk about, so she mentally ascribes her own narrative to avoid splintering. Afterward, she begins to notice the metamorphosis of beautiful things in her life, like flowers and leaves, into glass shards, the largest of which is wedged in her heart. This is also when she realizes that her gift is missing. The story unfolds like a puzzle being slowly pieced together through rich, symbolic descriptions strengthened by equally symbolic Spanish translanguaging. Readers feel the agony of injustices committed on queer brown people, and powerless white people, and will be compelled to read deeply until the book’s end, and then flip back to absorb more details. VERDICT A masterpiece intertwining painful teen realities involving injustices based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender with trauma and healing within loving, supportive families.–Ruth Quiroa, National Louis Univ., Lisle, IL

Horn Book

In this story that blends realism and fairy tale, McLemore introduces readers to a sweet, warm young woman making her way through trauma. Ciela is La Bruja de los Pasteles, the pastry witch, who through her “don,” the gift inherited from her great-grandmother, “knows what kind of pan dulce you want before you do.” After she is sexually assaulted at as party, a shard of mirrored glass enters her eye, and Ciela loses her don. She also becomes inextricably ties to a new boy in town, Lock, a survivor of the same night. Only through friendship, honesty, and courage does Ciela begin to uncover the truth of what really happened. Themes of violation and consent are present throughout; Ciela’s trauma is conveyed through cutting imagery, with comforting (if sometimes repetitive) descriptions of confections providing narrative reprieve. This story, which centers Mexican and Mexican American traditions and lore, includes a diverse array of gender identities, expressions, and relationships. The author’s note tells more about “The Snow Queen / La Reina de la Nieves” (the novel’s source) and reveals the personal nature of Ceila’s journey, with insight into the often-overlooked experience of women of color, boys, and queer and trans survivors of sexual assault. GABI K. HUESCA

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–In this novel inspired by their own experience, McLemore employs the device of magical realism as smoothly and artistically as protagonist Ciela creates pan dulce in her aunt’s panadería. This first-person narrative opens like a fairy tale, recounting how her great-grandmother passed the gift of matching specific Mexican sweet bread to each client’s needs. This ushers readers into the spring night of Ciela’s junior year when she deposits an unknown white boy at the ER. Both of them were sexually assaulted, something that she cannot think about, much less talk about, so she mentally ascribes her own narrative to avoid splintering. Afterward, she begins to notice the metamorphosis of beautiful things in her life, like flowers and leaves, into glass shards, the largest of which is wedged in her heart. This is also when she realizes that her gift is missing. The story unfolds like a puzzle being slowly pieced together through rich, symbolic descriptions strengthened by equally symbolic Spanish translanguaging. Readers feel the agony of injustices committed on queer brown people, and powerless white people, and will be compelled to read deeply until the book’s end, and then flip back to absorb more details. VERDICT A masterpiece intertwining painful teen realities involving injustices based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender with trauma and healing within loving, supportive families.–Ruth Quiroa, National Louis Univ., Lisle, IL

Horn Book

In this story that blends realism and fairy tale, McLemore introduces readers to a sweet, warm young woman making her way through trauma. Ciela is La Bruja de los Pasteles, the pastry witch, who through her “don,” the gift inherited from her great-grandmother, “knows what kind of pan dulce you want before you do.” After she is sexually assaulted at as party, a shard of mirrored glass enters her eye, and Ciela loses her don. She also becomes inextricably ties to a new boy in town, Lock, a survivor of the same night. Only through friendship, honesty, and courage does Ciela begin to uncover the truth of what really happened. Themes of violation and consent are present throughout; Ciela’s trauma is conveyed through cutting imagery, with comforting (if sometimes repetitive) descriptions of confections providing narrative reprieve. This story, which centers Mexican and Mexican American traditions and lore, includes a diverse array of gender identities, expressions, and relationships. The author’s note tells more about “The Snow Queen / La Reina de la Nieves” (the novel’s source) and reveals the personal nature of Ceila’s journey, with insight into the often-overlooked experience of women of color, boys, and queer and trans survivors of sexual assault. GABI K. HUESCA

Grades 11 & Up
Mature Young Adults Plus
For Grades 11 & Up

Filled with stimulating nonfiction and can't-put-it-down fiction, this catetory is perfect for bridging the gap between young adult and adult reading. Take note: these 12 selections often contain mature situations and language that could be considered controversial.

14 books per Year
$259.56 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,LGBTQ+,Novels,Realistic Fiction
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