The Other Half of Happy

By: Rebecca Balcárcel

Quijana is a girl in pieces. One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

Character quotes. Quotes from Don Quixote. Poem. List of quoted poems. Game instructions. Science notes.

ISBN: 9781452169989

JLG Release: Oct 2019

Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
Topics: Racially mixed people , Families , Ethnicity , Identity , Brothers and sisters , Parent and child , Family life , Texas , Guatemala , LGBTQ , Friendship , Learning Spanish , Learning disabilities

$16.85  Member Price

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Awards & Honors

Pura Belpré Author Award Honoree - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal*, Booklist*

Book Details



First Release

October 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

6 x 8 1/2

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 3.8; Points: 10;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 18;




Print Book


Hardcover edition



Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism


Racially mixed people, Families, Ethnicity, Identity, Brothers and sisters, Parent and child, Family life, Texas, Guatemala, LGBTQ, Friendship, Learning Spanish, Learning disabilities,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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