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The Moon Within

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be p
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, poetry
A beautiful, touching, powerful, important novel in verse! As the parent of a queer daughter who struggled with her own physical transformation, I would have loved to have had this book for her. Parents, young girls, and xochihuah everywhere are going to benefit from Aida's moving exploration of difficult but transcendent coming-of-age.
Yamile Méndez
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: january-18
I had the privilege of reading this story still in manuscript form and I’m overcome by admiration, love, and Hope. This is such a needed story that will bless kids’ lives forever. I love it and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world! 💕💕💕
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved-books
**I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher which does not influence my review**

The Moon Within, Aida Salazar’s middle grade debut, is a novel I wish I could gift my eleven-year-old self. Celi is on the brink of turning twelve and she, along with the world around her, is changing faster than she can keep track of. Her body is already changing and with it, the promise of a period. Not something she is looking forward to, especially with her mom’s recent interest in their Mexica herit
Rachel Rickard
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is so much to love about this coming-of-age verse novel, including its excellent author’s note that calls readers to thoughtfully engage with the book’s subject matter. Though I found some poems to be less effective than others, The Moon Within is, as a whole, beautifully written, and I was especially impressed by the ways in which Salazar writes about colonialism and reclamation of indigenous rituals and beliefs for a middle grade audience. This book trusts child readers so much, and that ...more
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
This was such a great book in body, self love, friendship, family, community, and acceptance. There is so much to say and learn from this book! It's written in verse making it a fast read, but it was amazing. The way she describes the dancing and music, to the way she taps into Celi's inner conflicts.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
this was so stunning, i could cry. this is the book i needed as a preteen.

actual rating: 4.5/5 stars
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-02
ALL THE STARS!!!! Thank you to the author and the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book. It was one of my most anticipated middle grade books of 2019, and although its early in the year, I have a hard time believing it won't be on a list of my very favorites at the end of the year.

Celi is at the age where her body is starting to develop into that of a young woman. Her mother is so excited about these changes, and proudly points them out to the family, but Celi is mortified. She wants noth
The messages here are good.

But the formatting wasn't my thing. But. I'm not sure I would have liked it any better in prose...

I also would have liked a glossary. There's a fair amount of Spanish and other... non... Spanish but South American languages(?). I found it difficult, so imagine younger readers who are also unfamiliar would find it just if not more frustrating to not understand whole passage and simply rely on context clues, or cave and do wiki walks.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
2019, Realistic, verse novel, coming of age, family

Celi's body is changing and her mother celebrates these changes even tho Celi is embarrassed about them. She is wearing a bra, growing hair in different places and is waiting to get her period (reminds me of Judy Blume's books from my childhood). I had never compared (or thought) about the moon cycle and a female cycle. Celi has her first boy crush and like any tween wants to have more access to technology (I love that Celi's parents hide the ta
Francesca Flores
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
This book was gorgeous ❤
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Passing this one along to my younger daughter. Such a powerful little book.
NoNieqa Ramos
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sacred celebratory text that grants every child the right to safe passage in their journey of self discovery. The ancestors smile on this work. Buying a class set ASAP.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review originally published 12 February 2019 at Falling Letters.

The Moon Within establishes on page one what kind of story its telling. In some ways, it’s a middle grade story we haven’t heard so directly for many years (young girl dealing with her period and other changes). In other ways, it’s a middle grade story we’ve never heard (Black Puerto Rican-Mexica girl dancing bomba and participating in an indigenous moon ceremony). The Moon Within explores colonialism, menstruation (frankly but not
Stephanie Bange
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Note: Reviewed from an ARC

This is one of the most widely reviewed books I have read this year, with good reason.

Celi, a biracial Latinx girl aged 11 going on 12, finds her world rocked by the raging hormones of adolescent childhood: her body changes from that of a child to the woman she will become, she resists the cultural implications of this change with her mother, she learns her best friend is genderfluid, and she feels a sexual attraction to boy for the first time. This is a fantastic pee
Ms. Yingling
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

In this novel in verse, we hear Celi's thoughts as she navigates her life in Oakland, California. Her close knit family watches her closely, and her Mima (mother) is sure that Celi will soon require a "moon ceremony" as puberty descends. Celi doesn't want everyone to know this information about her, but her mother is insistent that her daughter not feel shame about her body in the way that she herself did, but instead embraces a version of an Aztec ceremony to celebrate.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Celi loves to dance, especially when her best friend is drumming. She’s danced since she was a toddler, but now everything else seems to be changing. Her body is changing into a woman’s body. She has a crush on a boy. She has to figure out how to support her best friend being genderfluid. Meanwhile, her mother is pressuring her to have a moon ceremony when Celi gets her first period. Celi can’t imagine anything more embarrassing. Celi has some difficult decisions to make, and she makes mistakes ...more
Aliza Werner
I’m at a loss for words as I catch my breath after finishing this book. This powerful story, told in verse, had me in tears as it redefined girl power narratives. Celi’s body is changing through puberty. As she battles with her inner feelings about her inevitable menstruation, her family and Mexica community not only tolerate it, but celebrate it. In western culture, women have been raised to feel shame and embarrassment about their natural state, including body development, periods, reproductiv ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
@Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Released 2/26/19

Celi’s Mima is very vocal about women’s body, especially Celi’s as she is going through the change that comes with puberty. Meanwhile all Celi wants is to be left alone, to be given privacy, not celebrate every noticeable change her body goes through.

I rooted for Celi so hard. I recognized that discomfort you feel when your body start
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This middle grade novel in verse blew my mind a little. It's so beautifully body-positive and gender-expansive, which is a phrased used by the author that I've now adopted into my lexicon.

The main character Celi is, with every fiber in her body, resisting her mom's insistence that Celi have a moon ceremony when her period arrives. Her mom is determined to celebrate her changing body, womanhood, and their indigenous Mexican heritage (Celi is bicultural: Puerto Rican/Mexican and multi-racial).

Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was excited about this book when I read the blurb before I got an arc at NCTE conference and now after having read it, I must say I was impacted on so many levels. I started my teaching journey as a middle grade bilingual teacher with Latinx students and this is the book I’d teach now if I were still in the classroom. In other words, teachers get this book please for all students! I already started writing up ways to use the book with middle grade students! Personally, this hit me hard thinkin ...more
Kendra Felder
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
#kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the
review copy of this book.-all opinions are my own.

Celi Rivera’s a young girl who wants to keep all the questions she has about life to herself. She is not ready to grow up, yet her Mima insists on celebrating her impending journey into womanhood.
As my first novel read in verse, I was surprised by how lovely this book flowed.
This book perfectly captured a look at a twelve year old, discovering who she is. It is one every girl
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Celi is an 11 year old girl approaching puberty and dealing with the idea of her pending menstruation, liking a boy for the first time and fumbling a bit in her friendship with her best friend who has just revealed her gender fluidity. Her mother is insistent that her first period is something to be celebrated, with a public ritual, and it should be no surprise to any female who has experienced her first period, Celi is embarrassed and doesn't want anyone to know about it. It's a novel in verse, ...more
Mary Sanchez
Celi does not want a moon ceremony to celebrate her first menstrual period, but her mother insists because she was frighted by her experience and believes all girls should be proud of their womanhood. Besides, Celi's Aztec ancestors celebrated this ceremony and even acknowledged gender-expansive people like Celi's best friend Magda/Marco, who Celi defends from taunts by Ivan, a boy Celi likes.

I particularly liked how Celi navigated between the present and her indigenous Aztec roots. Also, Celi'
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, middle-grade
The Moon Within is a beautiful yet no-frills story that focuses on Celi's coming of age-- her first period, her first crush, and the traditions of her Indigenous (Aztec) ancestors that celebrate these changes. Another focus is Celi's best friend, Magda/Marco, who has realized he is transgender, and how that also relates to their heritage. The Moon Within is open and loving, while also not forgetting how embarrassing it is to grow up at times. A must-read regarding puberty and culture.
A.E. Conran
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-faves
The Moon Within is a much needed, beautifully and sensitively executed, game changer in children's fiction. This book is a gift. A call to embrace, talk about, learn about and celebrate periods, the growth of sexuality, sexual feelings and the myriad sensations and changes growing girls feel rather than treating these issues as taboo or shameful. Very powerful and much needed. Thank you Aida Salazar.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an absolutely gorgeous novel-in-verse! It's only March 1, and it's already one of my favorites from 2019. I love that there are so many layers to the book--a young girl hitting adolescence, her family, her friends and crush, and of course her best friend, Mar, going through changes of his own. The writing is absolutely stunning and the story is so heartfelt. An absolute must-read for all eleven-year-olds!
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this was so lovely.....not sure how much it will appeal to children, due to being in verse, and there being lots of really deep spiritual concepts that could be hard for kids to understand. probably best read along with a parent??

Helen Moses
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Beautifully written. I have a special place in my soul for this book set in Oakland. This needs to be shared with our new young women, to celebrate their next phase. The poetry celebrate the dance and music of life.
Kathleen Rauth
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning...going to recommend it to every girl I know as well as any gender fluid friends
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Availability for the Moon Within by Aida Salazar 1 3 Mar 18, 2018 09:49AM  
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