Gabi, A Girl in Pieces
Author: Isabel Quintero
Published October 14th, 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press
Goodreads Summary: For all the gorditas, flaquitas, and in-between girls trying to make their space in the world. Don’t worry, you got this.
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
Author Bio: Isabel Quintero is a library technician in the Inland Empire. She is also the events coordinator for Orange Monkey and helps edit the poetry journal Tin Cannon. Gabi is her debut novel.
Kellee’s Review: What I found in this book was a book of truth. While I normally find a book that has so many topics in it to be cumbersome (just some of the topics hit were: pregnancy, abortion, meth, family, religion, ethnicity, school, homosexuality, sex, death, poetry, college, rape, and gender expectations), I felt that Gabi was just truthful. Her story was just a story full of real life which just happens to be messy. I enjoyed the unique format, the diversity (not just race/ethnicity, but lbgt, body size, class, ELL, etc.), and the amazing cast of characters. Gabi’s voice rang true throughout, and even got stronger as she became more independent within the story. Well done.
Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Parts of Gabi’s story could easily be pulled out to be a mentor text for many different literary elements; however, I feel like one of the best ways it could be used is to have students emulate Gabi’s writing. For example, Gabi writes letters to her father sharing how she really feels. Students could write to someone sharing something with them that they are keeping from them. You could also use Gabi’s magazine and poetry the same way. Gabi’s writing is very raw, and I think that students will definitely connect with it.
Discussion Questions: Gabi makes a choice towards the end of the book that makes Cindy be upset with Gabi. Do you agree with what Gabi did?; Gabi’s mother is very protective of her. Why do you think she is so hard on Gabi?; Gabi deals with body issues throughout the book. How do you think our society affects how she pictures herself?; Sebastian and Cindy’s parents are both disappointed in their kids for different reasons and deal differently with their disappointment. Do you agree with how they treat their children?
We Flagged: “My brother is fifteen. He knows many things. He knows how to make a pipe out of an apple, and he knows how to make beautiful murals on public property. He likes wresting and biking and skateboarding but doesn’t like school because school doesn’t understand kids like us. My brother–the brat, the crybaby, the quite one, the brown one, Mami’s favorite: where will he go? I ask myself the question over and over. Y no se. I don’t know where he will go, but I hope wherever it is it’s better than here.” (p. 94)
Read This If You Loved: Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott, What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Perez, Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia MacCall, Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
Make sure to stop by Cinco Puntos Press blog to see the other stops on the tour!
**A special thank you to Jessica Powers at Cinco Puntos Press for organizing this blog hop!**