Written by Norma Perez-Hernandez
When adults tend to talk about reading inclusive books written by diverse authors, they (myself included) will say how their younger selves would love the increased representation in the books published for children today.
Still, have you read a new book that makes you feel like you are that kid again, reading it for the first time?
That’s the way I felt while reading The Resolutions by Mia García. Not only do I know that sixteen-year-old me would have loved this story about four best friends who happen to be Puerto Rican, but I could see myself absorbed in this book for my local library’s summer reading challenge, propped up on my mom’s old caramel colored corduroy upholstered loveseat, the fan hitting my face, and a can of Pringles at my side.
The Resolutions is all about the title: the four friends, Jess, Lee, Nora, and Ryan, decide on New Year’s Eve to adhere to the typical New Year’s tradition—except instead of coming up on their own resolutions, the friends write each other’s new year goals for each other. Ryan has to get over his ex and back into his art, Lee needs to decide whether she’ll take the test to know if she has the same disease that took her mother’s life, Nora has to decide if her dreams are tied to her mother’s restaurant, and Jess, the architect of this resolution project, has to say yes—and hopefully learn to say no to—all of the pressure she puts on herself.
At first glance, one may wonder what’s so revolutionary about The Resolutions. There are no dragons to slay, no evil wizards, no marginalized pain in this book’s pages. And that’s what honestly makes The Resolutions so refreshing. It’s a book about four regular teenagers who all just happen to be of Puerto Rican descent. Their pain and conflict comes from other sources than their Latinx identities: breakups, new and changing relationships, anxiety about school and their future, and so on. And if we could have more books like The Resolutions, we can see even more of the rich diversity of Latinx teenagers, their identities, fears, weaknesses, dreams, and triumphs.
The Resolutions by Mia García came out on November 13, 2018 from Katherine Tegen Books. For more information, click here.