The Moon Within (Paperback)

Written by: Aida Salazar
Published by: Scholastic

February 26, 2019

Grades 3-7

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is uncomfortable about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion--until she finds out that her best friend Magda is contemplating an even more profound change of life.

Review Quotes:
* 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.... An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout.- Kirkus Reviews, starred review


* An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty.- School Library Journal, starred review


This story is told in beautiful poems.... A lovely, relatable story....The words really use up the space on the pages in creative ways, and the author reveals cultural aspects of Latinx (especially Xicana) and Caribbean peoples in rich detail. - Booklist


Lyrical.... The characters leap to life and eloquently evoke the passion and pain of a girl's coming-of-age. Absolutely beautiful, reverent, and intensely personal, the book would make a valued gift for pre-teen readers, especially a young Latina. - School Library Connection


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


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


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


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

Biographical Note:
Aida Salazar is an award-winning author and arts activist whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the middle grade verse novels, The Moon Within (International Latino Book Award Winner), Land of the Cranes, and the biography picture book Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Revolutionary Fighter. She is slated to co-edit with Yamile Saied Méndez, Calling the Moon, a middle grade anthology on menstruation by writers of color. She is a founding member of Las Musas, a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. Her short story, By the Light of the Moon, was adapted into a ballet production by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA.

* A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland. - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The Moon Within joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!


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.

Review Citations:
  • Wilson Middle/Jr. High Catalog 04/11/2019 (EAN 9781338283389, Paperback)
  • Wilson Children's Catalog 04/11/2019 (EAN 9781338283389, Paperback)
  • BookPage 03/01/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)
  • Kirkus Reviews 11/01/2018 pg. 94 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
  • School Library Journal 12/01/2018 pg. 76 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
  • Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 01/01/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)
  • Booklist 01/01/2019 pg. 86 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)
  • Wilson Middle/Jr. High Catalog 04/11/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)
  • Shelf Awareness 03/05/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)
  • Publishers Weekly 03/18/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
  • Wilson Children's Catalog 04/11/2019 (EAN 9781338283372, Hardcover)



1.0" H x 7.6" L x 5.8" W (0.65 lbs) 240 pages

4 items left