The Making of Yolanda La Bruja

By Lorraine Avila

Hardcover edition

Publisher Levine Querido Imprint Arthur A. Levine ISBN


The Making of Yolanda La Bruja

In stock


Crime: Hate Crimes,Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism,Discrimination: Sexuality,Language: Strong Language,Medical: Reproductive/Sexual Reference/Discussion,Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes,Sexual Content: Sexual Harassment,Violence: Gun Violence,Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion

Elizabeth Acevedo has said that reading Lorraine Avila feels like an “UPPERCUT to the senses.” You've never encountered an author with prose of this sensitivity and fire.

Yolanda Alvarez is having a good year. She’s starting to feel at home Julia De Burgos High, her school in the Bronx. She has her best friend Victory, and maybe something with José, a senior boy she’s getting to know. She’s confident her initiation into her family’s bruja tradition will happen soon.

But then a white boy, the son of a politician, appears at Julia De Burgos High, and his vibes are off. And Yolanda’s initiation begins with a series of troubling visions of the violence this boy threatens. How can Yolanda protect her community, in a world that doesn’t listen? Only with the wisdom and love of her family, friends, and community – and the Brujas Diosas, her ancestors and guides.

The Making of Yolanda La Bruja is the book this country, struggling with the plague of gun violence, so desperately needs, but which few could write. Here Lorraine Avila brings a story born from the intersection of race, justice, education, and spirituality that will capture readers everywhere.

Author’s note. 
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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Yolanda Alvarez had her first vision as a little girl. She has grown and received training from her grandmother, Mamá Teté, who helps her navigate her spiritual journey and has taught her everything she knows about the Unknowns—ancestors who guide them and help them use their gifts. Just as Yolanda is entering an important time in her initiation—when an Unknown will select her to guide her—she receives a vision about a new student, Ben, one of the only white students in the school. Yolanda believes Ben is going to do something to harm the school, but afraid that she will not be able to prove it, she attempts to reach out to Ben herself. Readers will share in Yolanda's feelings of uncertainty as she tries to find out more about Ben's intentions, until it becomes clear that Yolanda's visions harbor the truth, and that Ben's actions are rooted in sinister racist beliefs. The Afro-Dominican teen attempts to carry the weight of what is happening on her own, leading to a heartbreaking climax. The narrative is thoughtful and gripping, and Avila has created a complex heroine whose identities as a Deaf and queer person of color give a layer of authenticity and intersectionality that will resonate with readers. VERDICT Readers will enjoy getting to know Yolanda, her diverse Dominican family, and her unique friends and supportive community in this lyrical debut novel that will open up important and difficult discussions about race, activism, and loss.—Selenia Paz

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