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Half Sisters Lose A Father, Find Each Other, Navigate Their Grief And The Challenges of Growing Up


Charity Nebbe and three expert readers talk about "Clap When You Land" by Elizabeth Acevedo.

It's a novel in verse, with two different narrators: Camino Rios is 16 years old and lives in the Dominican Republic with aunt "Tia Solanas." Her mother is dead and her father lives in New York City. He visits her every summer. Yahaira Rios is 16 years old. She lives in New York City with her mother and father, although her father returns to the Dominican Republic every summer.

The girls have the same father — a shocking secret they learn when the plane their "Papi" is traveling to the Dominican Republic on crashes into the ocean. There are no survivors.

The book is about coming of age, grief and connection. It also gives readers a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a 16-year-old girl living on the edge of poverty in the Dominican Republic and what it’s like to be a 16-year-old Afro-Latina girl in New York City and a first-generation American.


Marlú Abarca, writer, storyteller, bilingual services library assistant, Des Moines Public Library
Christina Fernandez Morrow, writer, public speaker, educator, Des Moines
Shreya Khullar, Student Poet Ambassador, Iowa City

Talk of Iowa Book ClubBooks & Reading
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa