Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY by Rebecca Balcarcel ***GIVEAWAY & AUTHOR INTERVIEW***

THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY
by
Rebecca Balcárcel
Contemporary / Middle Grade / Multi-cultural Family
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 332

Scroll down for giveaway!



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.

PRAISE FOR THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY:
"Seriously, I have never felt so seen in a book." --Sophia Jimenez of @LatinxinPub
Balcárcel’s well-rounded characters, complex friendships, and nuanced family dynamics will resonate with many readers. This is a title that will remain relevant long past its publication date. A must-have for all library collections.” -- School Library Journal starred review “With poetic, flowing prose that sometimes feels more like a song and characters so convincing that they seem real, Balcárcel’s stunning debut depicts the struggles of being raised with two cultures and the challenges of not being authentic” enough—in this case, “not Guatemalan enough” or “not American enough.” A lovely, moving, and realistic view of the struggles and insecurities—as well as the beauty—that comes from being bicultural.” -- Booklist starred review "One of the best and most compassionate depictions of autism I have ever read in fiction.” -- Latinas Leyendo


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Interview with Rebecca Balcarcel

What inspired you to write this book?
Quijana’s story grew out of the real-life moment when my abuelos flew all the way from 
Guatemala to visit, and I couldn’t talk to them. They spoke only Spanish, and I spoke only 
English. It was tragic, you know? This moment and others like it laid the foundation for the 
book, and they remain the heart of Quijana’s story.

What made you write a novel in particular?
Trained as a poet, I never expected to write a novel. In fact, this book started as a stack of 
poems in the voice of a bi-cultural girl. One frenzied July, I wrote about forty little scenes. 
      But Quijana had more to say. The book went from 25,000 words to 60,000!

One of your characters has autism. How did you make that character realistic?
I drew from my real life as a mom of identical twins with autism. Once they turned three, I 
saw that they talked late and avoided T-shirts with stiff decorations on them. Yet, I could 
       see their intelligence. For a long time, I hunted for exact solutions. Now, I know that 
neurodiversity is what it is. We do our best each day, the same as every other family.

What advice would you give to a new writer?
Read, read, read. When I realized I was writing a middle-grade novel, I started reading MG 
novels day and night. In this way, I heard young voices, and I picked up techniques. I apprenticed 
myself to authors I admire.

Are you working on something new?
Yes! My next novel is looking like it will have a ten-year-old soccer player, a robotics club, and a 
Guatemalan half-sister who suddenly moves in. In real life, I have an amazing Guatemalan half-
sister who I didn’t meet until we were already in our 30s.

What’s something surprising that people don’t know about you?
I went skydiving!


        






Rebecca is a bi-cultural Latina who loves her autistic sons, her kitty, and serving the students of Tarrant County College as Associate Professor of English. She holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she was awarded the Jane Kenton Poetry Prize. THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY is her debut novel.
WEBSITE  ⬞    INSTAGRAM  ⬞   FACEBOOK

TWITTER   ⬞   GOODREADS

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***GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!***


THREE WINNERS EACH RECEIVE:
SIGNED COPY OF THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY 
BOOKMARK & STICKER!

NOVEMBER 5-15, 2019
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/5/19
Author Video
11/5/19
BONUS Post
11/6/19
Review
11/7/19
Excerpt
11/8/19
Review
11/9/19
Notable Quotable
11/10/19
Guest Post
11/11/19
Review
11/12/19
Scrapbook Page
11/13/19
Review
11/14/19
Review
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