Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo cover shows a girl on the left with darker skin and a winding fire escape staircase behind her and a girl on the right with lighter skin and palm leaves behind her separated by the silhouettes of airplanes in the center, nose to nose.

Clap When You Land
Elizabeth Acevedo
Quill Tree Books
Published May 5, 2020

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Clap When You Land

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Clap When You Land on Goodreads

My Review

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND is the third book by Elizabeth Acevedo that I’ve read, and she just wows me every time. Some of the lines in this novel in verse were so achingly beautiful. They crafted tender images of grief, the strength of the bonds of family, and the beauty of the beach.

I loved both Camino and Yahaira’s stories, and I am so glad the book told both. I loved the way their connection developed, even though it was under such difficult circumstances.

My favorite scene is one late in the book, in which a man has attacked a female character. Three other women, all family members by blood or choice, stand together and force the man to leave. There was so much power in that scene. I loved the way that they lent one another strength and that because they joined together, their strength was multiplied. There was something truly beautiful and fierce about it that I feel like I’m going to remember for a very long time.

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND was a deeply compelling story of sisterhood and grief and a beautiful tribute to the Dominican Republic. I think fans of DEAR HAITI, LOVE ALAINE by Maika and Maritza Moulite or NEVER LOOK BACK by Lilliam Rivera will love this book.

Clap When You Land on Bookshop

Content Notes for Clap When You Land

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Yahaira is Dominican American, living in New York. She’s in a relationship with a girl. Camino is Dominican and living in the Dominican Republic.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two girls. A man stalks a girl as she goes to and from the beach. He obviously has sinister intentions, and she feels she can’t escape him. Brief description of a man assaulting a girl on a train. She’s shaken and traumatized afterward. In one scene, a man attacks a girl in the dark, tearing open her blouse.

Spiritual Content
Families gather and pray after Yahaira and Camino’s dad’s death and attend church services. Camino’s aunt also consults the saints using other spiritual practices.

Violent Content
Some details about the plane crash

Drug Content
References to drinking alcohol.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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