Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice (Hardcover)
“Anna Lapera expertly voices a young girl’s middle school trials, but with a voice so unique and heartfelt you will be cringing one moment and cheering the next. She weaves a distinctive story filled with humor, family heartache, and secrets while a young girl releases the fear of her voice and grasps its power.”
— Newbery Medalist Donna Barba Higuera
For fans of Donna Barba Higuera's Lupe Wong Won't Dance and Aida Salazar's The Moon Within, comes Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice -- a contemporary middle grade novel full of spunk and activist heart. Manuela “Mani” Semilla wants two things: To get her period, and to thwart her mom's plan of taking her to Guatemala, a place that has always been more of a mystery than an answer. Mani can’t imagine leaving behind Las Nerdas, her band of misfit friends, for the summer. But after she finds letters written between her mother and her disappeared-journalist aunt, Mani’s idea of what it means to be a woman takes flight. Reading the letters reveals both the beauty of Guatemala and its history of violence against women, and slowly transforms Mani from quiet bystander into budding activist.
About the Author
Anna Lapera is a middle school teacher by day and writer by night and early hours of the morning. She writes middle grade, young adult and adult literary short fiction, and loves stories about girls stepping into their power. She was born in Guatemala to a Guatemalan mother and Hawaiian-Filipino-German father. Anna is a member of Las Musas, 2022 Macondista and Kweli Journal mentee, and has received support from Tin House, Kweli Journal and SCBWI. You can find her at annalaperawriter.com and on Twitter as @WriterOfCuentos. Her favorite food is plátano frito (don’t take the crispiest one.)