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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning author Pablo Cartaya comes a deeply moving middle grade novel about a daughter and father finding their way back to each other in the face of their changing family and community.

A Schneider Family Book Award Honor for Middle Grade

Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It's hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family's auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear.

But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend, Gus, at the center of the conflict.

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya is a tender story about asking big questions and being brave enough to reckon with the answers.

©2019 Pablo Cartaya (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Author/narrator Pablo Cartaya easily transitions between English and Spanish, authentically representing the bilingual world of Cuban-American Emilia Rosa Torres... Cartaya's nuanced narration shows how Emilia gradually reveals her true self, her voice gaining power in the face of her father's PTSD, shifts in friendships, and encounters with prejudice. As life grows more complex, Cartaya reveals the depth of a girl whose intelligence and love are strengthened by an awareness of her heritage, and the economic and social injustices around her." (AudioFile magazine)

"A pitch-perfect middle-grade novel that insightfully explores timely topics with authenticity and warmth." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

"[A] layered, culturally rich novel." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"Hand to tween fans of realistic fiction." (School Library Journal)

"Plenty of kids will relate to [Emilia's] passion and perseverance." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Each Tiny Spark

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