Clap When You Land: [Book Review]

May 22, 2020

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (cover) Image: split image of two young Hispanic girl

Genre/Categories: YA contemporary fiction, novel in free verse, family secrets, siblings, grief, diversity

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Papi and his two families…

Papi spends summers in the Dominican Republic with his daughter, Camino, and her aunt who is Camino’s guardian since Camino’s mother died. Papi spends the remainder of the year in New York City with his wife and daughter, Yahaira. Camino and Yahaira do not know about each other and they both love their Papi. One day, Papi’s plane crashes as he’s on his way to the Dominican Republic and the girls find out about each other. Should they get acquainted? Should they even meet? Can they become true sisters? Can the families forgive Papi and embrace new family members?

In case you might want to know, Acevedo always includes LGBTQ representation in her stories.

My Thoughts:

The Writing: Clap When You Land is the third book I’ve read by Elizabeth Acevedo. (With the Fire on High and Poet X are the others). I appreciate her beautiful prose and poignant YA storylines. Clap When You Land is told from alternating points of view from Camino’s and Yahaira’s perspectives. It was challenging at first to track the dual POVs. The POV of each chapter is indicated in the chapter titles but it was a bit obscure at first until I caught on that both girls’ names are listed with an airplane pointing to the girl whose POV we’re reading from. After many pages, I stopped reading and started from the beginning so that I could properly interpret the chapter titles and get to know the sisters. Perhaps I just read too fast! However, it’s helpful to know this before you begin reading!

Themes: I appreciate the poignant themes in Clap When You Land that include found family, grief, loss, hurtful family secrets, reconciliation, healing, siblings, girls at risk, and forgiveness.

Recommend: I thoroughly enjoyed Clap When You Land and can recommend it for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, for YA readers, for those who appreciate compelling and thoughtful themes that include found family, grief, and sibling relationships. For parents wondering if this is appropriate for younger teens, I would say 14+ (minimal profanity and sexual content).

If this is important to know, Acevedo always includes LBGTQ representation.

Related: With the Fire on High review.

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (cover)

Clap When You Land Information

Meet the Author, Elizabeth Acevedo

Author, Elizabeth Acevedo

ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is a New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High. Her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She is also the recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award. Additionally, she was honored with the 2019 Pure Belpré Author Award for celebrating, affirming, and portraying Latinx culture and experience.

Her books include Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), & With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019).

She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her love.


Have you read Elizabeth Acevedo? Have you read Clap When You Land, With the Fire on High, or Poet X?


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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. Great review Carol!!! Will be reading after really loving With the Fire on High. But will have to till it’s available at the library. 😉

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