Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Trigger warning for sexual assult, parental death, plane crash

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

My Thoughts:
This book is based on the tragic plane crash of flight AA587 which I had never heard of. This crash happened two months after 9/11 and is the second deadliest crash in US history. Sadly once it was ruled out that it was not terrorism it stopped being covered in the news, but that did not help the families who lost loved ones. The flight was heading to the Dominican Republic from JFK Airport and many of the victims were heading home.

In the story we hear from two different sides, Camino in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira in New York, they both lost their father, and they had no idea that he was living a double life with two seperate families. Yahaira found out that her father was married in the Dominican Republic a year before the plane crash but had no idea that she has a sister, while Camino had no idea at all, she thought that her father went to New York just for work.

After the crash Camino finds out about her fathers ‘secret’ family and tries to get in contact with Yahaira, Yahaira who has never been to the Dominican Republic wants to go to her fathers burial which will be in DR.

When the two sisters finally meet it is tense and difficult because they can’t really comprehend that their father has lied to them and they can see their fathers features in each other, but they soon start to learn about each other and become very protective, they learn that no matter what they are family and no one will get between them.

This was such a beautiful story reaped from tragedy, watching the two girls grow emotionally in the space of two months is really amazing.

13 thoughts on “Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo”

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