A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.
Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. And since Mama keeps her memories of Papa locked up where Eddie can’t get to them, he only has Papa’s third-place fishing tournament medal to remember him by. He’ll have to figure out how to be more Colombian on his own.
As if by magic, the perfect opportunity arises. Eddie—who’s never left Minnesota—is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water.
Figuring out how to be a true colombiano might be more difficult than he thought.
Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She wrote a book about that experience, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family, which was published by University of Minnesota Press. A writer, editor, and teacher, she lives in the very literary city of Minneapolis. What If a Fish is her first middle grade novel.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (August 11, 2020)
"Poetic and believable. Multilayered and convincing, the book will have readers rooting for its sweet and smart protagonist."
– Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2020
"Fajardo’s honest, heartfelt text evokes sorrow and grief but also understanding, navigating the many complexities of identity, friendship, family, loss, and death."
– Booklist, July 1, 2020
"A whimsical and inviting #OwnVoices story of family, friendship, and identity."
– School Library Journal, October 2, 2020
"This is a beautifully written tale–a gentle story that explores the depths of grief, the loss of loved ones, the expanses of family, and the building blocks that make all of us human. So what does this have to do with fish, or fishing? Not a whole lot, and everything. I highly recommend you read the book to find out."
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