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The Moon Within

By Aida Salazar


The dazzling story of a girl navigating friendship, family, and growing up, an Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? for the modern day, from debut author Aida Salazar.

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 participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?

A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.


Reviews and Awards

⋆ “A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland.…Salazar's verse novel is sensitive and fresh, featuring modern interpretations of pre-Columbian coming-of-age traditions that arise organically from the characters. Mar's heritage is Mexican, and Iván is mixed, black and Mexican; Celi and Mar's participation in a Puerto Rican performance group and their mothers' deeply felt Xicana identity allow Salazar to naturally explore cultural nuances not often seen in middle-grade fiction…. An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This is a fascinating tale that blends ancestral traditions from two cultures, while portraying modern dilemmas. Salazar's poetry is as lovely and graceful as the dance scenes." - Margarita Engle, National Young People's Poet Laureate and Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree

"With conga-pulsed lyrics, Aida Salazar pulls us into the coming of age of eleven year Celi. She initiates readers into the conversation of Bomba, the girl-woman circle, divine twin energies and the many moon-tide powers of a Latina pre-teen. This is a book whose form and content, vision and depth, I find revolutionary and culturally ecstatic. In these times, here is the liberation verse our youth and all have been waiting for – Brava-Bravo!" - Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate and author of Jabberwalking

“In a vivid, magical debut, Aida Salazar’s lyrical poetry deftly pulls you into Celi’s vibrant world as she reluctantly dances towards womanhood, adjusting to the drumbeats of first love and true friendship while exploring her ancestral roots as she finds her role within family and community.” - Naheed H. Senzai, award-winning author of Shooting Kabul and Escape From Aleppo

"Aida Salazar has reached deep into our indigenous past to explore in beautiful, poignant poetry what it means to become a woman at the intersection of community and self. Rooted in ancestral lore yet vibrantly modern, The Moon Within is a touching, powerful, and important novel in verse." - David Bowles, Pura Belpré Honor-winning author of The Smoking Mirror

"Lovely and amazing...a heartbreaker, in every wonderful way. Salazar's vivid and accessible verse brings us the coming-of-age story we've been longing for. Poignant, funny, and deeply moving, The Moon Within is a story told with an abundance of love and respect–a gift straight from the center of Salazar's heart to readers everywhere." - Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of Eighth-Grade Superzero and co-author of Naomis Too


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Spring 2019
Middle Grade Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-338-28337-2
Price: $17.99 / $23.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2” x 8 1/4”
Page Count: 240
Foreign Rights: Gallt & Zacker
Translation Rights: Gallt & Zacker
Rights Available? yes