by Marlin Adams with Ariel Fox
Fourth-grader Ariel’s weekend is turning out to be a disaster. Her friends are coming over for a sleepover on Saturday night and a movie on Sunday, but she can’t get it together to write her homework essay about heritage and cultural traditions that is due on Monday. Her two best friends know everything about their cultures, but Ariel knows nothing about her own. As she reflects on the maze of changes surrounding her after her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage, she reminisces about her early years in Colombia, her summers spent in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, and her current life in the Monterey Bay beach town where she now lives with her mom and her new dad. From her Caribbean grandma’s patacones to her Pacific Northwest grandma’s blackberry pie, Ariel discovers that food keeps emerging as a theme in her life. It’s a theme that helps her gain a stronger sense of self and one that just might save her before the Monday morning deadline.