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When We Make It  By  cover art

When We Make It

By: Elisabet Velasquez
Narrated by: Elisabet Velasquez
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Publisher's Summary

"The energy. The clarity. The beauty. Elisabet Velasquez brings it all. . . . Her voice is FIRE!"—NYT bestselling and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson

An unforgettable, torrential, and hopeful debut young adult novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to "make it,” for listeners of Nicholasa Mohr and Elizabeth Acevedo.

Sarai is a first-generation Puerto Rican question asker who can see with clarity the truth, pain, and beauty of the world both inside and outside her Bushwick apartment. Together with her older sister, Estrella, she navigates the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Sarai questions the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives with determination and an open heart, learning to celebrate herself in a way that she has long been denied.

When We Make It is a love letter to anyone who was taught to believe that they would not make it. To those who feel their emotions before they can name them. To those who still may not have all the language but they have their story. Velasquez’ debut novel is sure to leave an indelible mark on all who read it.

©2021 Elisabet Velasquez (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
Indies Introduce and Next List selection
Kirkus Reviews Best Books
School Library Journal Best Books
Chicago Public Library Best Teen Fiction
Américas Award Commended Title
ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project selection
In the Margins Book Award Top Ten selection
NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books
The News & Observer Best Books for Kids
Gotham Book Prize finalist

*“A gem for pleasure reading as well as classroom use. . . . Raw, breathtaking, and brilllant.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*“Exquisite poetry portrays not only anger and fear, but also hope . . . Gripping and soulful, this dynamic debut novel-in-verse is a must for every collection.”—School Library Journal, starred review

*“The candid, clear-eyed poetry contains powerful inquiries about [Sarai’s] diasporic Nuyorican identity and canny observations about the endemic social and racial inequities that surround her. . . . Together, these vignettes capture Sarai’s multilayered, heartbreaking, and hopeful coming of age.”—Horn Book, starred review 

What listeners say about When We Make It

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A MUST READ

be prepared to laugh, cry, laugh somemore and then be pissed! EXCELLENT NARRATION I'VE HEARD

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A Must read for lovers of YA poetry

Heartfelt, profound and a true testament to the beauty and the barriers growing up surviving.

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Our lives read to us in poetic verses

As I read the author recite the words from her history, her accent filled my heart. Authentically written, I felt every word and related to so much. Having grown up in Ridgewood and Bushwick, I know all the places she mentioned and the people she spoke of. For those that are not from here, listen and connect to a life that was shared by so many and often goes unseen. Amazing poet. 10/10