Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land

Book - 2020
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Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people... In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance--and Papi's secrets--the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Publisher: New York, NY :, HarperTeen,, [2020]
Description: 417 pages ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780062882769
Branch Call Number: TEEN Acev
Additional Contributors: Acevedo, Elizabeth. Clap when you land


From the critics

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Jul 27, 2021

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo was a book I had my eye on for a while before I recently picked it up. The Poet X and With the Fire on High were beautiful books, but still it took me almost a year to finally read Acevedo’s newest release. I hesitated since the author’s other books were both very emotional and hard hitting. Clap When You Land still had that emotional element, but there were moments of joy and a story that was hard to put down.

After I finished the book, I realized how happy I was to finally be reading Acevedo’s writing again. The novel follows two sisters, Camino and Yahaira. The two live in different countries and have no idea of the other's existence but meet after their father dies in a plane crash. If you, like me, enjoyed The Poet X or other books written in verse, definitely give this one a try. The prose packs a punch and connects you with the characters.

Even though the book is technically is briefer with words than regularly formatted novels, it still is fully fleshed out. The realization both of the sisters face that their father was living a double life was very well done. Each character’s pain and struggles were honest. No line felt superficial and no plot point was underdeveloped.

I would say if you enjoy books about found family and sister bonds, this book is the perfect read. It is a quick read, since it’s written in verse, but it is not forgettable whatsoever. It’s raw and real, yet bright in the way Acevedo typically writes. I think this is a great place to start with Elizabeth Acevedo's books or books in verse. Clap When You Land combines all Acevedo’s skills with poetry and storytelling into a touching novel about sisters and grief.

- Maya Joncas

Jun 30, 2021

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Apr 18, 2021

An emotional read.....highly recommend

AlishaH_KCMO Mar 23, 2021

Trigger Warnings: Death of a parent, sexual assault, stalking, plane crash

Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse, duo POV, about grief and love. Camino Rios' favorite time of the year is the summer when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But when his place is supposed to land, Camino is met at the airport to crowds of crying people. In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called into the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father died in a plane crash. Separated by distance - and their Papi's secrets - the two girls must face this new altered reality. But then, when it all seems like their father has completely disappeared, they learn of each other.

I lost my father suddenly myself at twelve-years-old, this book made me cry at what the girls were going through.

"For the rest of my life I will sit & imagine
what my father would say in any given moment.
& I will make him up:
his words, his advice, our memories."

I still do this, sixteen years later...

Both girls have their own struggles, but Camino especially does. Now that her father isn't alive to pay him off, the local pimp, a man called El Cero, begins following her around. All she wants to do is escape the island, go to New York to study premed, and have a chance at a better life than what she sees around her. Then, Yahaira finds her on social media and it changes everything she thought she knew about her father.

This was beautifully done - the girls discovering their father wasn't perfect, that their hero was complexed and flawed. Even though he was a good father, he wasn't the greatest husband. Both girls are matured by the intensity of their loss and the discoveries made afterwards and they take a lot of others grief into their own hands, especially Yahaira and her Mom.

I can't say enough praise for Elizabeth Acevedo and the way she cuts and merges words together. I use to be wary of books in verse form but the way Acevedo writes really makes you stop and think. It grips at your heart.

I will always highly recommend Acevedo to anyone to read.

"Never, ever, let them see you sweat, negra.
Fight until you can't breathe, & if you have to forfeit,
you forfeit smiling, make them think you let them win."

Jan 27, 2021

Modern Mrs Darcy

JCLMirandaA Nov 19, 2020

I love Acevedo's books and this might be my favourite of hers so far. This book weaved together two very different girls who are both Dominican and discover they are sisters, one lives in NYC and one in the DR. They both are coping with the tragedy of their father's death and in the wake of that they discover that he was living a double life one with each of them. This book deals with loss in such a real and heartbreaking way. And how to reconcile yourself when someone you've known your whole life and loved isn't who you thought they were and your life wasn't what you thought it was either. Ultimately this book is about family and secrets and finding yourself and what all of this means together. I loved each of the girls. The perspective change was always well done when you wanted to see what one was doing vs. the other or for a change in pace. And a great contrast from being born in the DR and living there vs. being a Dominican American living in the US. Both characters and their worlds and the people in their life were vibrant and felt like a breath of life. Highly recommend for teens and adults alike.

JCLChrisK Nov 03, 2020

An emotional novel-in-verse about two teen girls thrown into tragic circumstances. Heartfelt and real.

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 27, 2020

Acevedo packs a punch with her poetical hand. This is a novel-in-verse, and it is written beautifully. This story addresses an actual event that many people aren't aware of. It focuses on family secrets, grief, and cultural differences.

VaughanPLShelly Sep 29, 2020

I love everything Elizabeth Acevedo has published so far & this latest novel totally lived up to those expectations! I loved the way in which Acevedo was able to create two distinct characters, despite having this novel entirely written in poems. If you've enjoyed her past books or you're looking for a fascinating, quick & engaging read, I highly recommend this one.

Sep 12, 2020

I LOVE ALL OF ELIZABETH ACEVEDO'S BOOKS!!!! This book is different then her other books it has 2 main characters telling you the story from their point of view! I felt every emotion as I was reading it! Its sad, but it is based on a real plane crash that happened before September 11. Love how Elizabeth created this fiction story to show the pain many who lost their loved ones went through and their hidden secrets many found out.

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Add a Quote
Jul 02, 2020

"But me, I know a man can have many faces & speak out of
both sides of his mouth; I know a man can make decisions

based on the flip of a coin;
a man can be real good at long division,
give away piece after piece after piece of himself.”

Jul 02, 2020

"If you asked me what I was,

& you meant in terms of culture,
I’d say Dominican.

No hesitation,
no question about it.

Can you be from a place
you have never been?

You can find the island stamped all over me,
but what would the island find if I was there?

Can you claim a home that does not know you,
much less claim you as its own?”

"To walk in this world you must be kind but also fierce." p 257

"I will not stand still while the world makes my choices." p 253

"If tension is a winged monster, / it's cast its feathers / on the roof of my house." p 238

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 07, 2021

DarbyHicks thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 02, 2020

the_axolotl thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

OPL_KrisC Jun 13, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

SJPL_JessL Mar 18, 2020

SJPL_JessL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_Brittany Jan 13, 2021

A novel-in-verse that speaks to the themes of love, loss, change, and the difficult nature of forgiveness. A compelling, page turning novel told from the perspectives of Camino and Yahaira, who are half-sisters who have never met, nor known of each other’s existence. Living in the Dominican Republic, with her aunt, Camino has dreams of becoming a doctor; In New York, living with her parents, Yahaira struggles with identity and defining her relationship with Dre. Following the unexpected and tragic death of their father, each girl struggles to navigate their new reality in which their father is gone, and their lives are forever changed.

Beautifully and lyrically told, Acevedo’s novel is filled with richly detailed settings and a strong sense of place. Supported by a well-developed cast of characters, the reader is immediately drawn into the lives and relationships that surround Camino and Yahaira. An engaging read that is filled with warmth and hope in the midst of darkness.

This novel will appeal to those who have enjoyed Acevedo’s previous novels Poet X and With the Fire on High, #ownvoices novels, as well as fiction written in multiple perspectives.


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